Monday, September 9, 2013

Roughing It.

We took the kiddos camping to Big Basin Redwoods State Park over Memorial Day weekend.  Camping with two young boys was certainly an adventure, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the thought of turning around and going home crossed my mind after only two hours in, but it ended up to be a great trip!  One of the things that Ryan and I love the most about living in California is access to all kinds of adventures within an afternoon's drive.  We want the boys to grow up with overflowing buckets of memories about things we did and saw during their childhood.  With the mesmerizing Redwoods in our sights, we set out to add some drops to their buckets.

Dirt, leaves, trails, bugs... the boys were in heaven.
He found a cave!  With no critter inhabitants, thank goodness.
Exploring the moss covered tree trunks.
The path of most resistance is sometimes the most fun.
This way, guys!
Snug as bugs in our awesome HUGE two-room tent from REI.  Good call, Ryan.
Try to keep up with me, Mom. 
Sword?  Wand?  Just really fun to carry a stick around?
Puddle jumping.
The park rangers put on daily nature club shows for the little ones. 
Tigger acting as Ethan's marshmallow wingman.
He waited all DAY for this!
Thanks to the suuuuuper long skewers from Aunt Kelly and Uncle Troy, he could roast his own!
Yep.  They're *that* good.

It wasn't always easy, or comfortable.  There were moments that taught us that we have to live flexibly - such as when I accidentally dumped an entire pot of macaroni noodles onto the ground when I tried to drain the water, or when we woke up to find that our firewood was soaked with the rain that was not supposed to visit us overnight.  It's nice to get little reminders that nothing is supposed to be perfect, no trip will be 100% smooth, and that most things are worth working for.  And if through these experiences we can teach our boys to roll with the punches, they'll have a lifetime of silver linings and hidden gems.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spring Break!

So, let's just open with the obvious:  I've been MIA for a few months.  We've been really busy making memories around here, and Mama has done a poor job of capturing them in bloggy form.  This is our baby book - often the only way that I can remember when milestones happened is by searching the blog archives - so I've gotta get back on the horse and ride this thing out.  At least until the boys hit puberty and are mortified to have their life on display for all to see.

I'm gonna take this way, way back to April.  My dad came to visit us during Spring Break, and we made the most of our week together!  One outing that we'd been saving was a trip to the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield.  You have to go on a weekday, since they aren't in production over the weekend.  We timed it perfectly, and got there a half hour after they opened.

Hand in hand with his PaPa, headed towards some Jelly Belly fun!

Unfortunately, EVERYBODY ELSE in the Bay Area had the same idea, and the line was already backed out the door.  It was going to take us almost two hours to get to the tour.  And the kicker?  Production was shut down for the day.  So the two hour wait would get you a tour through... a dark factory.


We decided to get our faces painted, indulged in some free jelly bean samples, and then headed out to Scandia afterwards for some bumper boating and mini golfing.

For all Ethan knew, that was all there was to the Jelly Belly factory.

Spider-Man at the helm of the water cannon.  Game on!

For his first golfing experience, the kid did a pretty good job!

Aunt Mary joined us for the fun!

Afternoon naps are a must for the over 60 and under 5 crowd.

PaPa was also with us for Easter!  Everett had an Easter egg hunt at his daycare, which was a blast to watch.  He and his classmates were too little to understand the true purpose of the hunt, and would mostly just find an egg:

Exhibit A

 And then sit down for extended periods of time to do the put-the-egg-in-the-basket-then-immediately-take-it-out-of-the-basket dance.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Exhibit B
Mommy and bunny.

Ethan and PaPa tackled Easter decorations, making little paper mache pet pals.  Or Papier Mâché if you're all fancy pants. 

Egg-cellent job, guys! 

And speaking of fancy pants, check out the golden egg dying kit sent by Mima and Poppa!

Yep, I wrapped my kid in trash bags.

The Easter Bunny spread!

The boys enjoying the goodies on Easter morning!

It's always so nice to get to share holidays and events with our far-far-away family members, and the boys really loved having their PaPa around for a whole week!

Best buds.

Love, love, love.