Sunday, May 31, 2009

California Candy

Am I rubbing it in if I say how lucky we are to not only have the sunshine to enjoy in Southern California but many many wonderful activities available to us with out having to travel far?! And getting there has become part of the fun in the new family minivan (an entire post needed just for the new shiney family 'mobile - stay tuned). So what have we been up to lately on our weekends?

Several days just enjoying the sun, sand and surf in Laguna Beach, CA:

Train ride at Griffith Park and visiting the Observatory: with a stop at the famous Phillipe's for sandwiches:

Ferry ride from Balboa Island to the Peninsula where we rode the merry-go-round and had lunch on the Pier:

Really?! Why would you live any where else? (*spoken like a true native Californian!*) ... gotta run, off to the beach, park, nature center, Sea World .... oh, so much to do!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009


We have been enjoying our long holiday weekend. Saturday we rode the train at Griffith Park and visited the Observatory. Yesterday we spent most of the day at Laguna Beach where my little girl proved once again just how un-picky she is with food.

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all who have served and given us our freedom.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Will work for kinderschokolade!

When pregnant I seem to not take as many pictures of my adorable kids. I assume it is the lack of energy, constant uncomfortable full feeling in my mid section and the waddling that keeps my DC (Dear Camera) in it's bag more often. In fact, it has been about 6 months since I have bribed DS with chocolate to take his picture. The last time I bribed him is HERE. But a few days ago DD was already napping and DS was about 15 minutes away from his nap. I was trying to think of something different (that we didn't already do that day) to kill 15 minutes before nap time.

And then it hit me, what about DH's cousin's recent visit from Germany?! Her recent visit that secured her spot as DS's favorite relative when she immediately upon entering our home gave him a castle of kinderschokolade. (yes, enough for him to immediately build a castle of chocolate taller then himself). If you recall, most of DH's family lives in Germany and last September he fell in love with this special "child chocolate" from the Fatherland .

Without explaination from me, I assume you know what followed. Only this time, after asking him if he wanted to earn some kinderschokolade he responded without any hesitation and I immediately snapped ten fantastic shots of him, all smiling shots with eye contact (3 of the 10 posted above). This not only marks my quickest chocolate for pictures bribe to date but my most successful bribe in general. I know I could have brushed his hair, changed his stained shirt and been more creative with the background but then it wouldn't be us, as is, enjoying a sunny Spring afternoon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mother Nature knows (the Best) Fun!

Don't you just love it when that perfect activity you read about actually happens just as planned ... or even better?! I do! Because, let's face it, often times we read these great fun fabulous activities to do with our kids and they often times turn out to be a big ol' flop. You prepare, purchase and/or gather all the materials and envision just how perfect your toddler is going to be and WOW, what a wonderful learning experience they are going to have and boy oh boy how darn cute is the finished project going to be and on and on (well, if you are anything like me your vision of the perfect afternoon goes on and on into the late afternoon) then, you begin as planned and about 30 seconds into the activity your smart, curious sponge, who has such a thirst for knowledge turns to you and says, "I don't want to do this. Let's do something else Mommy." Bust.

So, when it goes just as you hoped and even better it is one that keeps you smiling and repeating for several weeks, am I right? :-)

Recently we have stumbled upon many activities that fall into this category. Including sorting our coins from their piggy banks into multi-colored bowls, talking about the value of each coin, bringing it to the bank, talking about interest earned, counting them, etc. We have also been playing with different colored water (add food coloring for this) in ice trays and using a small dropper (practicing fine motor skills) to mix colors together and experimenting with different combinations to make different colors (IE yellow + blue = green). Big hit with DS.

And most recently, making our nature box and our many nature walks. The idea came from Coastalgirl via Flipflops & Applesauce (Flipflops & Applesauce is a site I visit often and worth a bookmark!). If you thought ahead like me, you have plenty of egg cartons left over from dying Easter eggs. I had tucked mine away in the cupboard in anticipation of them coming in handy for a fun craft activity so I was happy when I stumbled upon this activity. If you did not save them, Spring is always a good time to make some yummy egg salad sandwiches for the weekend!

We painted our egg carton earlier in the week - making it a fun activity all on it's own. We had fun (once again) mixing colors together to make new colors and even though I encouraged him to paint one of the sections white he was having too much fun using white to mix in with other colors & didn't take my advice (although after our nature walk he realized just how many beautiful white flowers there are and that a white section would have been good ... and said to me, "next time I am going to paint one white and one brown." (another color he just didn't want to paint the first go around but certainly noticed was a common color in nature). We set it in the sun to dry and continued to paint pictures on large pieces construction paper (no reason to get out all the paints and put smocks on just for that!). It was a fun day

A few days later we set off on our nature walk collecting fun treasures to match up to a painted section of the egg carton. DS found this activity quite interesting and would even discuss how some leaves had multiple colors (red, yellow, green) so where should we put them? It was a great activity outdoors that had multiple learning opportunities making it a HUGE SUCCESS in my book. DD loved being outdoors with us, going on a slow walk and picking up leaves & flowers (I gave her a small bag to put her nature treasures in). When we got home DS wanted to dump out all his nature treasures on the table and sort them all over again! We have since gone on several nature walks making our daily walks around the neighborhood much more interesting for all.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Flippin' Marvelous Mother's Day

I received a wonderful gift from DH, DS and DD for Mother's Day.
Those of you who don't believe an electronic device can be sexy haven't seen the Flip yet. It makes the Nano Ipod look quite plain in my opinion (ok, might be a bit of a stretch but definitely the sexiest video recorder you have ever seen!). Can you tell someone is in love already?!
But the best part, I now have a quick, easy way to record memories of my family - both every day life and special milestones. :-)

Thank you DH, not only for today but for each and every day. You make me feel appeciated and loved every day. I love you to pieces.

**Stay tuned for more updates and pictures this week. I know I am behind on posts. We have been busier then usual (if that is even possible, LOL!)**

Hope you all had a blessed Mother's Day and a special thanks to my own Mother who has always been there for me. I am proud to call you my Mother! I Love You!