Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ryan Words

Ryan has recently gone from calling Reagan "Nee Nee" to calling her "Eggan". He calls himself "Eye-an" instead of "Ein" now too. He made a recent and obvious switch over the last week to pronouncing things better, but skipping the first sound a lot more often, like"eep" for sleep. We rub his back before he goes to sleep and he always says "ub-ack" when it's time for that. He's in love with his Croc shoes, "ock oohs". The list goes on and on, it's pretty funny and really hard to understand when there's no context and he starts talking about something at random.

Friday, October 15, 2010

October Beach Day!

We're in what's probably our last heat wave around here (to make up for the coldest summer on record I guess) so we went to the beach! It was warmer than the day we went in June, totally perfect weather, no sweatshirts needed this time.

We planned to get there at 10:30, but ended up almost 2 hrs late due to Ryan waking up with an infected penis ... which has never happened before ... so of course it happened the one day we planned a beach trip. Saw the doctor at 9:30, who of course advised against sand play, then hemmed and hawed about it with Allison, who was car pooling with us, and decided to triple layer him on the bottom half and be extra careful since we couldn't bring ourselves to not go after all the lunch and beach packing. I picked up his antibiotic on the way out, gave him the first dose and kept it in the cooler. It all worked out and I managed to keep him sand free down there .. mission accomplished. We had another doctor check this morning and it was already looking much improved by last night, so no mommy guilt about the beach trip... yay!

Here's Ryan and Jack playing monster trucks in the sand. There is a strange thing with boys and vehicles that I don't get. Ryan sleeps with cars or trucks in his hands like they're teddy bears. He also hugs a teddy bear though :-) At least 2 of my friends with boys also talk about them sleeping with their cars in the bed.

Jack, Ella, Ryan, and Reagan playing in the sand

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daddy Weekend

While on my girlfriend getaway cruise, Cam and the kids had a lot of fun. They went to the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, to a park with peacocks and a big hiking hill, and dinner at our friend's house (whose Mom was with me on the cruise).

Ryan told me over the phone all about how they saw mama peacocks but not any baby peacocks:
"Hi Mommy! baby peacock ... nooooo .... mama peacock" He said it clear as day, it was hilarious.

A roller coaster building exhibit at the science museum:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sprinkler Fun

warning: shrill 4-yr old girl screams ahead

Swimmer in the Making

After swim lessons all summer, check out Reagan's skills:


Cameron has been trying to find the Tarantulas on Mt. Diablo every fall (mating season when they are supposedly everywhere, crossing the roads, etc. I say "supposedly" because I will never be witnessing this for myself). Well, on September 18, he saw 6 of them. Here's a perspective of their size relative to Cam's size 12 bike shoe.

In case that's not creepy enough for you, here's some video:
Girl's Weekend

For the first time since having kids - that would be 4 1/2 yrs now - I went away with girlfriends! We went on a 3-night Carnival Cruise to Ensenada, Mexico from LA ... the cheapest cruise on the planet and the only one over a weekend that wasn't far away. We drove down on Friday, Oct 1 and back on Monday, Oct 4. We had a great time, closed down both dancing joints - one a fantastic band (whose drummer looked like David Spade, said he gets told that every night) and the dance club next door until 4 am one night. We went to the spa raffle on the first night and I actually won a facial!

From left: Michelle, Allison, Nicci, and me

On the down side, we walked out of the broadway style show it was so bad, and the food was extremely mediocre ... think cheap buffet ... 3 of us got diarrhea!

We shared an interior stateroom and thought that would be the toughest part, but it was totally fine and we'd definitely save money by doing that again. Only $262.62/person ... room & food for 3 days, diarrhea for only one ... what a deal! :-)

Michelle noting how vertically challenged she is to be able to sit fully upright on the top bunk.

Allison and I posing with the ship in Ensenada

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Season

Sept 30: Springhill Cheese Farm

We milked Bessie the cow! First time I've ever even been that close to a cow. Reagan was too nervous once we got up next to it, but it was all she could talk about beforehand.

We dug up our own potatoes and chose our own pumpkin from the vine. Also got to see their milking barn, pet newborn calves (some only a couple days old), and taste their cheese and homemade pumpkin ice cream. The kids enjoyed the well-done hay maze too. The hour drive was worth it, especially since we car pooled.

Oct 7: Smith Family Farm

Here, we saw a really cute barn sing along show, got a trailer ride out to the pumpkin patch, saw animals, and did a hay maze and a corn maze.

Ella and Ryan, sportin' the farm-wear
From left: Emma, Ryan, Lucas, Jack, Ella, Nick, Reagan, Alex
kids walking hand in hand, when is that not a cute picture!
Picking out our pumpkins
Gilroy Gardens Theme Park

The last weekend of September, we spent one overnight in the south bay and spent a day at this beautiful theme park that use to be a privately owned garden. Super unique trees are everywhere amidst all the rides and attractions which makes it pretty and nice and shady.

This butterfly shaped bush was Reagan's favorite:

One of the many unique trees:

The petting zoo:

Paddle Boats:
Crazy Hair Day

This ended up looking sort of fancy and unique more than crazy, but it was still fun. I used pipe cleaners in the braids so I could mold them as needed. (No, she does not have lipstick on, that's the color of her lips)

Wedding Party

Rani's daughter Ganga got married at the end of August and although we couldn't make the wedding in LA, Rani held a pre-wedding reception at her home. As usual, fantastic Indian food that Rani and her family members prepared. Also a friend of theirs was doing henna tattoos which Reagan and I both got. It ends up reddish brown when you wash it off after it sets.

Ryan enjoying his food as usual
Reagan showing off her cool hairdo from our hair stylist the previous day. Her hair is normally pretty curly at the ends and she was just beside herself when the stylist made it straight for her (she already talks about wanting straight hair like me and her friend Emma).
Journey of a Front Yard

Before (2006) & After (2010)

2006 Progress

After my parent's help with what we called "Project Chernobyl of the Bushes", Cam continued all the way to the roots for the driveway strip of bushes
Next, removing every other board, slowly opening up the fortress
After hacking out the huge pit of ivy in the middle of the deck & the deck walls in front of the ivy

2007 Progress

Planted some rosemaries by the driveway and it stayed like this all year. Notice the front bushes have relentlessly grown back, not to mention how huge the side bushes are .. it's the same plant.

2008 Progress

Rosemaries bloomed, so did the weeds

2009 Progress

Side bushes out and progress on front bushes

remainder of deck comes out

2010 Progress

Deck all out, creating flat area for a pathway on top

Installing drainage under the pathway

Daddy gets lots of help, Pretty sure Ryan just ate dirt

digging begins for sprinkler system, rosemary plants moved in front of pathway

hired landscaper to lay sod

Sod is done! Biggest difference yet in one morning after all the years of slow work!

We added rocks, lights and planted strawberries in the bed; landscaper added mulch, orange tree, and avocado tree plus new rosemaries since we killed 2 of the 3 we had moved over :-)

Now it's a yard we can play on!

They love to run up and down the path
August 2010 - Out and About

Aug 5: Air Force Museum
Emma & Alex's Dad flies with the Air Force and we went to base one day to check out the museum. Of course my Grandpa Kalkman also flew, but I'm drawing a blank right now ... air force, navy?

Emma, Reagan, & Wesley
Wesley, Reagan, Emma, Ryan, & Alex walking around all the huge planes
Wes and Ryan fly a plane
Reagan & Emma fly a plane

Aug 7: Children's Fairyland
We saw The Little Engine That Could by the Bay Area Children's Theatre and it was really cute. Then we had the rest of the day at this park.

Reagan: Yay, it's Snow White, my BFF!
Ryan: Is this girl real?
Ryan climbing Captain Hook's ship

Aug 8: Wildlife Museum for Reagan's friend Olivia's b-day

Ryan mowing down his pizza like a big kid; several parents were impressed at how he picked it up and went to town, no supervision or cutting into pieces required. He's an excellent eater!
Reagan got to touch a lot of animals including this live snake!

Aug 13-15: KOA Camping with 3 other families (and Happy 33rd bday to me!)

Setting up camp

Weekly Bootcamp with Mommy
I give a stroller bootcamp workout once a week for the Mom's Club. It's Reagan's favorite because they get to jump out of the stroller and play wherever we stop to do exercises.