Monday, January 12, 2015

4th of July - San Diego/Escondido Vacation

Google has made so many changes that I can't seem to update my blog the way I used to.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Disneyland Vacation

Next we headed to Disnleyland!  Thursday night we checked out Downtown Disney, ate at Rainforest Cafe and got an early souvineer at the biggest Disney store ever.  The next day we got to the park when it opened, and stayed until 10:30pm!  The kids loved every minute of it.  There was a perfectly timed nap when we had to save a shady parade watching spot anyway and everything was great.  Liberty only disliked one ride - Snow White - she just simply told me she didn't like it after she rode it.  Her favorites were Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a rollercoaster she got to ride twice (once with me and once with Cam), the Radiator Springs Car ride at Cali. Adventure, and she really liked meeting the 3 princesses and the parade was AMAZING.  I didn't realize how close we'd be to everything - high fiving all the characters and having Cinderella catch the kisses Liberty was blowing her.  We ate 2 awesome meals and had 2 awesome snacks (dole whip!).  Henry really liked dancing at the Tiki Room show and he enjoyed every ride (teacups, small world, pirates of the Caribbean).  We actually rode 16 rides that day! WHEW!  After watching the Fantasmic show and Fireworks we decided to expand our trip and get a ticket to do California Adventure the next day.  So we headed back to the hotel and let them sleep in, loaded up, checked out of the hotel and went to play at California Adventure until 6pm!  Highlights at California adventure included an Undersea Ariel adventure ride and a Soaring Over California ride - and again the PARADES are just amazing.  One of my favorite parts was the parades and watching my kids faces. Then we gassed up, got McDonalds and drove all the way home - they were both asleep by 7 and slept the entire way. Memories to last a lifetime.  It was a wonderful vacation and the Gates were the ideal Disneyland guides since they've been the park 50+ times!  What great company they were, this trip couldn't have gone better.

My own notes:
DISNEYLAND - 16 rides, 3 shows/parades, 5 characters, 3 meals, 2 snacks = 22 things
Met Mini Mouse, Peter Pan ride, Carosel, Snow White, Tea Cups, Castle Boat Cruise, Thunder Mountain, LUNCH - corn dogs, Tiki Room, SNACK - dole whip, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of Caribbean, NAP - Parade, men Indiana Jones, Parade, Princess Meet and Greet, Small World, Met Mikey Mouse, Thunder Mountain Railway Again, DINNER - fried chicken, Buzz Lightyear, Fantasmic show, Fireworks, Star Tours.  9am-10:30pm
CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE - 10 rides, 1 show/parade, 1 meal = 12 things
Toy Story, Goofy Rollercoaster, Ariel, Soaring over CA, LUNCH - Chinese, Monsters Inc., Crush Turtle, Carousel, SNACK - coffee, Ariel, Radiator Springs x 2!!, Parade. 9:30am-6pm

Catalina Island Vacation

We drove on Memorial Day to Long Beach, CA to catch a ferry to the lovely Catalina Island!  We were traveling with our good friends Maria and Scott Gates, and their kids Kinley and Emery.  We rented an amazing house with unbelievable views (71 stairs to our door however) and were able to cookout, make glorious breakfast meals and enjoy cocktails on the deck after kids went to bed.  We spent 3 nights on the island and it was truly a great fun and relaxing trip.  The first day we spent at a private beach on our chaise lounges, ate ice cream and walked around this quaint town.  The second day we toured the historical casino and did paddleboats.  The third day the kids spent more time playing on the beach and we watched them and couldn't believe this is our life - surrounded by such joy.  On the hour long ferry ride back to mainland the boat was slowed so we could gather and watch 50+ dolphins play in the waves of our boat!  Then we headed to our hotel in Anaheim to continue the fun with the Gates family - as they showed us the ropes at their beloved DISNEYLAND!

Friday, May 2, 2014


We spent Easter in Flagstaff with every bit of family (minus Uncle Andy and Uncle Patrick).  My sister's in laws actually hosted a pot-luck Easter brunch and my Wheeler and Wyatt parents were there.  It's pretty amazing that everyone was so welcoming and on board with that.  It was especially nice to see my pregnant sister and her gang.  Charlie was recovering from a 3 day stay in the hospital and had to cancel his 5th birthday party celebrations - so we were happy to have at least Easter go somewhat as planned and to hold our little ones close.  My dad also got some crappy medical diagnosis, so it was at least nice to get some time with him.  We stayed with my in-laws, played outside, did some Easter egg hunting, played with Grandma's toys (Cameron/Andy lego stash anyone?), and Liberty and I went to Mass at the new-to-me church in Flagstaff.  I was reminded how super casual everyone dresses in Flagstaff (tshirts for Easter Mass?!) and was proud that Liberty and I looked adorable if I do say so myself.  It was beautiful weather and a short and sweet trip.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Liberty's 4th Birthday Party!

Liberty really wanted a FROZEN themed birthday party.  Not since Cinderella had a movie captured her like FROZEN.  I was fortunate enough to have my friend Maria offer up some of her decorations since she threw a Frozen party a few months ago.  As any mother with a daughter knows, FROZEN stuff is sold out everywhere, so the only decoration I could find with the characters was a huge cardboard cutout - the rest we did with a winter wonderland theme and it turned out magical.  So magical in fact, that I couldn't resist having someone with a decent camera come to capture it all!  Julie Griffin took the photos, so I could sit back and soak up my little girl's celebration and all the memorable fun.  So worth it!

I was really feeling the love this day.  My family pitched in so much to pull it together, everyone that was invited came, Liberty spotted this "Elsa" dress for me to wear at Target and insisted I looked fantastic in it....I trusted her...and was giddy I fit into a size small - hasn't happened since high school!, Liberty was so excited to have her best girlfriends come over and she actually remembered to be thankful during present opening time (my parental anxiety moment) was just a beautiful day that Liberty enjoyed so much, I'll remember it forever.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Liberty's 4 year old photoshoot and interview

4 years old!  I took these pictures on her birthday 4/7/2014...and we did our traditional birthday interview video at dinnertime.

STATS:  Weight: 40.6 pounds, Height: 43.5 inches.  98% height.  Predictor website say she'll be 5 10 or 5 11 when she's grown up!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Flashback - Henry turns 1 video.

I just love this video so much but I was noticing as I uploaded a 15 month video that Henry's hair has grown so much!

I was in Starbucks for 10 minutes today with him and was approached 3 separate times by people telling me how adorable he is and how beautiful his red hair is!  He just smiles like a little charmer at these people.  If they thought he was adorable with a smile - they would go nuts for his laugh.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Henry is 15 months old!

Henry's interview:

Favorite books: Anything Elmo, anything FROZEN, Brown Bear, Where's Spot, Moo Baa LaLaLa.
Favorite shows: Mickey Mouse clubhouse and FROZEN.
Favorite foods: Chipotle, crockpot shredded chicken chili, salsa, blackberries/rasberries,
Best words: mama, dada, uh oh, bye bye, cheese, juice, night night, book, ball, please, thank you, animal sounds (cow, dog, cat, sheep, lion, tiger, horse, alligator (cutest teeth chomp!), etc)
Best signs: milk, more, all done, no, yes head shake, please,
Personality: just this:
Quirks: calls his binkies "diddle diddle", Frozen books are his version of a security blanket, loves to ask me to roll down the window so he can wave bye bye to random people, when I ask him to "go wake up Liberty" from her nap - he runs down the hallway, opens her door, climbs up on her bed and they have the best time rolling/jumping around - reunited at last. He isn't as big of an eater as Liberty was...he still likes baby food pouches and milk in bottles. Goes down slides on his tummy by himself (backwards or face first)
Sleep: naps 10am and 2pm for 1.5 hours each. As soon as school ends for Liberty we'll drop that first nap - but right now I have him nap while she's at preschool!
Misc: Music class with Mrs. Colleen

STATS (16 months): Weight 23.5 pounds, Length 34 inches - 50% weight, 95th% height, first ever ear infection 16 months old.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Henry's early walking and Liberty reading

Here is a random album with some of Henry's early walking attempts in late December/early Jan I think. He's gotten a lot more confident with walking in the past 3 weeks - but still doesn't do it full-time. Also, I ordered Liberty these level 2 BOB books that have a story SHE CAN READ by sounding out simple delivered them, we opened them, and she just started reading one! It was pretty amazing! It's not a great video, but I still wanted to capture her first attempt at reading a book solo - a pretty special moment for a parent I guess.

Pattern Fashion Show Singing Performance

I'm half embarrassed and half proud to post this. Liberty was a runway model, showing an outfit she had painted with a pattern on it...then the classes sang their pattern song. I realize my kid is drowning out every other singer - but in her defense, she was told to sing loudly and enthusiastically, and she sure followed directions!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas 2013

Christmas was so nice! It was at my house this year which made it extra special for me. My kids were able to sleep in their own house and wake up to explore under their own Christmas tree. Cameron's parents and Andy stayed with us. It worked out really well - since we had Andy in Liberty's bed, she bunked on a blow up in our room. It was really fun - she woke up in the morning kinda having a bad dream, came in our bed, we said Merry Christmas, and she snuggled us and wanted to go tell Merry Christmas to Grandma/Grandpa and Andy. It was on her way to Andy's room that she noticed the gifts:) Liberty got some FROZEN gifts and many calico critters. She truly loved every gift - from her sleeping bag from Grandma to her boogie board writing pad from Andy - there was not a single "dud" gift. Henry was ADORABLE when he woke up - he crawled over to his first gift and thought it was the coolest dang thing he had ever seen! He got a DJ billy beats, jumbo animals, and a little people airplane, and musical instruments among many other things. We had great meals together and went to San Tan the day after Christmas. Only thing that could have been better was Cameron got the flu on Christmas day. He spent the next day in bed, and I was surprised at how fast he bounced back considering it was a serious flu illness. He was recovered in time for our Saturday Christmas at the Wheeler's in Fountain Hills where we had a big prime rib lunch and opened more gifts (calico critter house! and car ramps and rocket ships!) We were happy to get to see all our family and spend some quality time together. I tried hard this year to teach Liberty that Santa Clause is really St. Nicholas who was a generous man who wanted to be like Jesus and help others. We talked a lot about why we thank people for gifts because that meant they were thinking of us and wanted to show their love with a gift. I think we were all feeling the love this Christmas.