Friday, December 30, 2011

special visitors

Before Christmas we had the pleasure of spending time with my long-time (and far away living) friend Tami, her famous-in-New-England husband, and their super-duper son. Their son was, in fact, born just a couple weeks before Maggie and sadly this was the first time we've met him. When he got out of the car Maggie's first words were "oh, he's cute!" That girl. Anyway, they made the effort to come see us for the day and we had such a nice time catching up in person, having dinner and letting the kids play a bit.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

for Maggie's buds












Maggie and I made some Christmas peppermint play-dough to give to some of her friends this year. We had fun making it and hope they are enjoying it too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

for Loren

She was distracted at the park and this video is the best I could get. Hopefully you get the idea?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Meet Manny

This year we jumped on the Elf on the Shelf bandwagon and started the tradition for Maggie. My mom bought Maggie her first elf and he magically appeared in our house at the beginning of the month. Manny, as Maggie named him, has been all over our home, but particularly loves to hang upside down in our house. She thinks he's hilarious and is always enthusiastic when she looks for him each morning. She also loves showing Manny off to her friends when they come over. Unfortunately he had to leave us on Christmas Day and Maggie was disappointed. The good news is that I'm sure he, or one of his friends, will come back next year. (Sorry for all the poor snapshots of him here. He's cuter in real life.)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

We hope you are able to relax and enjoy this special day!




Friday, December 23, 2011

the shiner was worth it

Maggie's friend turned three this month and we got to help her celebrate at a local kids gym. She had a ball and I had a good time taking a few action shots of her playing. As you can see she absolutely loves jumping on this (as did most of the other kids) and I was able to capture a few shots of her catching air (look closely). At one point she did bonk heads with one of her buds, but they were both fine and no one cried. Maggie got a little shiner as a result. She's tough.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Garden update

Our lettuce has been growing steadily in our garden. Baby romaine is great. And easy to grow!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pom Poms and Pine Cones

Earlier in the month Maggie and I hosted our moms group toddler art club again. I thought it would be fun to make pine cone Christmas trees with the kids and I think they enjoyed themselves. I was able to photograph a few of the finished products before everyone left. The kids were proud of their trees and were enthusiastic about taking them home.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Baking

Last week my mom came up for the night so we could do our annual holiday baking. This year we made lemon cookies, ginger snaps, oatmeal bars and rocky road.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jingle Bells

Two weekends ago my dad sang Jingle Bells to Maggie. I'd say he sang it a total of 4 times. Here she is repeating what he sang the next day. She's a fast learner!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decorating for Christmas














After we returned from our Thanksgiving trip to Shaver, Chad, Maggie and I decorated our house for Christmas. Maggie's favorite item from the boxes was a Christmas item from Chad's childhood. It's an angel candle holder that spins due to the heat from the flame. And as it spins, it dings a little bell. Maggie was fascinated by it and sat and watched it for awhile.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa

Over Thanksgiving weekend Maggie met Santa. He was in Shaver that Saturday ready to take pictures, talk to the kids, and give out stockings and candy canes. Maggie was excited to meet him. I was super curious about how she'd react to sitting on his lap because last year she didn't think it was the greatest. This year, however, I really talked him up for the week or so before they met and she lit up when she saw him sitting in his chair. Here's the funny thing: she was way stoked to sit on his lap, but would not look at his face. Even once. She smiled and giggled and talk to him, but was totally timid when it came to looking at him. At least she was brave enough to sit on his lap and talk to him. After the kids all met the big guy they took their gifted stockings to the shops in town and got treats from the store owners. It was basically like trick or treating for Christmas candy, pencils and hot chocolate. No one complained.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thanksgiving


Our family had a great Thanksgiving weekend. We were able to spend it with Chad's parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews up in Shaver Lake. There were four people out of the 24 who couldn't make it this year and they were certainly missed. We went early on Thursday and left Sunday afternoon. The holiday weekend was filled with eating food, playing games, doing crafts, riding on the swing, playing in the snow, making bracelets, seeing Santa in town, opening gifts and spending time with each other. So much fun.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pump It Up

One of Maggie's buddies turned 3 on Sunday and we helped him celebrate at Pump It Up in Madera. After hearing so much about it for the past couple years we were excited to finally check it out. Such a neat place to go and Maggie loved it. Actually, we all loved it. There are eight huge inflatable slides, obstacle courses and bounce houses that the kids (and adults!) can play on. Chad, Maggie and I climbed up the slide a number of times and man, that was fun. Chad recorded Maggie going down a slide for the first time. The end looks pretty rough, but she was in her glory.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

A quick hello and...


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First Snow Day

We spent the past Saturday and Sunday with my parents at the cabin. Saturday was overcast and cool, but stayed dry. We woke up on Sunday to a snow storm with the ground and trees covered with soft white snow. After Maggie woke up we dressed her in some warm clothes and let her play in it for awhile. She tried to eat the snowflakes as they were falling, jumped in the snow, rode around in a sled with Chad, helped my dad shovel the snow layer on the front deck, and picked up more than her share of snow with her gloved hands. Unfortunately the gloves were more for style and cool weather rather than for snow because her little hands froze after about 20 minutes of playing. Hard to believe the first snow of the season (for us) has arrived before Thanksgiving. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba























On Friday we took Maggie to see the live action show: Yo Gabba Gabba, It's Time to Dance! and it was awesome! We all had so much fun, especially Maggie, and we are so glad we made the effort to go. Mags was in her glory, singing and dancing and screaming with the best of them. The band, Yacht, performed a song and Biz Markie performed for us too. So cool! Next time they come to Fresno we're taking Maggie, for sure.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turkeys Making Turkeys























Sorry for the week-long lag in posting. Maggie and I have been busy preparing for Thanksgiving. Hard to believe we're less than a week away.

Anyway, yesterday Maggie and I had our art club friends over for the morning. She was so excited for their arrival and absolutely loves having her friends here to play. The craft I planned for the kids was a little painted hand-print turkey I found online. The kids enjoyed themselves and made some cute little turkeys to hang up at home.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Summer Shoes

Now that it's fall and the temps are cooling down, I think it's time to start packing away some of Maggie's summer shoes. I figured, just like I did last spring, that I'd document what she's worn in the past season for her baby book. This time we're showing off her purple Keen sandals (her favorites), her pink Target Circo flip flops, her rainbow Keen sandals, her pink Nike strap shoes (that she could put on all by herself, making them fun for her to wear), and finally her OP water shoes. Goodbye summer!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Uhhhh...

On Sunday we worked on our garden. We thinned the plants so that the garden veggies would have plenty of room to grow. Maggie helped us by putting dirt in a bucket. Additionally, she pretended to eat some of the food that we are growing. Pretended so well, in fact, that she believed it herself and took a nice big bite of dirt. If only you could have seen her tongue before I was able to grab my camera. Yum.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cars

In September Chad put together the two Plasma cars we bought for Maggie last year. She's finally old enough and agile enough to ride them and, since they are appropriate for both kids and adults, Chad practiced riding it with her. She's definitely getting the hang of it. And I'll be honest: I'm having fun on them too.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blue Steel


















Last month at the pumpkin patch Maggie worked on her Zoolander Blue Steel impression. Not bad.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trunk or Treat




















This weekend our moms group organized a fun trunk or treat for the kids. The little ones (as well as the parents) enjoyed spending time with friends, wearing costumes and collecting candy. Maggie's favorite treasure from her sack of loot was the small bag of goldfish crackers. Good thing I like the rest of what's in her bag. That candy won't go to waste.




Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Carving






















On Sunday we carved our pumpkins. Chad did an awesome job freehand cutting the cat face on the small pumpkin. It looks even better in real life. I did the buck-toothed happy faced pumpkin, as usual. I also carved a crooked M. We tried to get Mags involved this year but honestly, she wanted nothing to do with it. She was excited at first, but once she realized she was going to have to touch the pumpkin guts, she changed her mind. She did reach in once and pulled out a seed. One seed. And that was enough. You can tell by her face.  Later in the evening we went to our friends' annual pumpkin carving party (but cheated and brought our pre-carved pumpkins with us this year). It was still a fun party!


Check here, here, here and here for my previous posts on our pumpkin carving.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Howdy...!
























...and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

















Saturday Maggie, Chad and I went to the pumpkin patch with our friends. The same friends, I should add, that we've gone with to the patch the last two years. (see here and here!) There was lots of chasing and wrangling the kids this time but still lots of fun. Below are some photos our friend Matt took for us:


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Paper Jack-O-Lanterns



















On Friday Maggie and I had our mom's group friends over for a little craft time. The children created collage pumpkins on paper and surprisingly really enjoyed themselves. Sometimes with toddlers crafts can be a little hit-or-miss when it comes to interest and enjoyment, but I chose well with this one, fortunately, and the children liked it. After the craft we headed to the backyard for the activity that is ALWAYS a hit: running wild and playing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bunnies


















Recently a member of our mom's group organized a time for the kids to visit with a litter of two week old bunnies. Super cute and super tiny. Maggie didn't have much interest in holding one, but she did enjoy petting them. Tiny bunnies are cute.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dry Lake and Friends

Chad, Maggie and I spent last weekend with our friends at the cabin. We mostly caught up with each other because they live in the Bay Area and don't see them as often as we'd like, but we also squeezed in quite a bit of eating, dart throwing, block stacking (with Mags) and hiking. Before our friends arrived Chad, Mags and I took a drive to the lake. It is being drained, the first time since 1920, to repair the dam and currently looks pretty sparse. They won't let anyone on the lake bed and, as you can see from Maggie's reaction about being held and not allowed to run wild, she wasn't happy about that.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Lodi

















Last week my mom, Maggie and I went to Lodi to visit my grandma (GG), aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a quick overnight trip but we managed to pack a lot in and have a great time. We ate, visited, played a card game (Maggie enjoyed helping us), hit up IKEA and watched our cousin and her high school team win their water polo game. Yeah! Of course I found a sign near the high school pool that I HAD to take a photo of. You've got to love the schools in California...ha!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Montana de Oro

Before heading home from the Central Coast Chad and I went to Montana de Oro in Los Osos for the morning. Notice my second brave stop in a porta potty. Ew! Anyway, the trails were a rad way to end our trip and a great way to celebrate our anniversary.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Up the Coast

For one of the days during our anniversary trip we decided to drive up the coast and see where we ended up. We both had done this many times in the past, but it had been awhile since we made the time to visit the smaller, charming coastal towns.























We started in Cayucos. The primary reason I wanted to go there was to check out the candy shop I've always known and loved. The bummer news is that it moved and, even though it's fancier and in a larger retail space, it is no longer the same candy shop I remember. Darn! After going there we decided to walk along the pier and then check out the cookie factory. We have eaten the cookies before at our friends' house, but now we know where they got them. A neat little place.

After Cayucos we drove up to Ragged Point. Wow has that stop changed in the last 10 years! What used to be a pull-over lookout point now has a hotel, wedding reception area, two restaurants and a gift shop. Still a pretty stop, though, and I'm glad we drove up to see it.





















Then we drove to the small (population 18) town of Harmony. There are two shops in town, a pottery shop/art gallery and a glassblowing studio/gallery. It was also there that I used the first of TWO porta potties during that trip. Yuck. After Harmony we had lunch in Cambria at Robin's before heading back down to Morro Bay for the rest of the afternoon and evening.




Friday, October 14, 2011

Morro Bay























While we love the city of San Luis Obispo, we decided to make this trip a little different and stay in Morro Bay. The town is known for being foggy and cold nearly year round, but this weekend it wasn't meant to be. It was cool (upper 60s) but the sun replaced the typical fog during our visit. Lucky us! We ate two delicious dinners over the weekend, one at The Galley and the other at Dorn's. Highly recommend both if you find yourself in the area.  We were able to easily walk to the shops and restaurants on the Embarcadero because we chose to stay down by the water. The top left photo is the view from our hotel balcony.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weekend Trip























Chad and I began our anniversary trip in San Luis Obispo. We had sushi for lunch at Raku and afterwards walked around downtown for the afternoon. It was neat seeing which parts of the town have remained unchanged and which have matured, been upgraded or just completely changed. I love that town. We also happened upon one of the best new places I've seen in awhile and was floored and excited to see that it was thriving in our old town: Kreuzberg CA - a book bar and coffee lounge. Rad, rad, rad. It's busy, arty, hip, youthful, spacious, vibrant, indie...ah! I loved it! And before I forget, a BIG thank you to my parents for watching Maggie for the weekend so we could celebrate our anniversary!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us

















This weekend Chad and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. We decided to head back to the place where we met and began dating 13 years ago...the beautiful Central Coast. More photos to come.





Friday, October 7, 2011

Harvest Festival





















We spent the afternoon on Sunday at the Great American Harvest Festival. The proceeds from the fair went towards the Childhood Language Center, a local non-profit agency. The free event had bounce houses (Maggie's favorite), face painting (or hand and leg, as Maggie chose), music, games, booths and food. They chose the perfect day for the event because the weather was mild and sunny and totally pleasant.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Planting

 
Chad, Maggie and I finished tearing out our summer garden (goodbye tomatoes) on Sunday and prepped the box for our fall/winter garden. We've mostly skipped cool weather crops in the past so this year will be interesting to see how they turn out. We planted baby romaine lettuce, carrots, broccoli and peas and Maggie really enjoyed helping us this time, especially with the big the pea seeds. It'll be fun for all of us to watch this new garden grow and we'll keep you updated on how things are turning out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Beach Party

On Saturday we celebrated the birthday of Maggie's friend. She had a beach party and we all had a good time partying with her. Maggie enjoyed drawing with sidewalk chalk, swimming, decorating a visor, eating lunch, and most of all, playing with the other kids.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pirate Party

On Wednesday one of Maggie's friends turned three. He had his pirate themed birthday party at a local park and his mom went crazy with the decorations, food and activities. I wish I'd taken photos of everything before the kids enjoyed it because it was so stinking cute. Maggie got to make a pirate hat, search for some jewels in the pirate's booty tub, spot treasures with her scope and, of course, play at the park. The food included the most adorable blue jello cups with orange floating pirate ships, cupcakes, tons of fruit, crackers, etc. Cute cute cute.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monopoly Mania

Chad and I have been to a number of fundraising events lately. Friday night we went to HandsOn Central California's annual Monopoly Mania event. It was F.U.N. and I hope we get to go again next year. Food, drinks, Monopoly, prizes, auctions, raffles, going to jail...they had it all. Such a wild event and I hope HandsOn earned lots of money that night. I was sent to jail three times ($5 to get out and back in the game) and Chad was there a couple times too.
Courtesy of Mike Scott

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fire Station


On Friday Maggie and I went with our moms group to a nearby fire station for a tour. The three men were expecting us and had an age-appropriate talk and tour for the nearly 30 of us who came.  All of the kids received fire hats when they arrived (a bit hit) and before leaving they were given stickers (another big hit). They know what kids like. The kids got to go inside a firetruck, see the living area for the firemen, and learned that we need to have an official fire escape plan for our house. The only part Maggie didn't like was when a fireman tried on his full outfit for the kids. He started with the suit, then put on a beanie, then a gas mask and it was over from there. Maggie ran to my arms and said she wanted to go home and take a nap. It was 10:30am. Hilarious. Once he took off the mask she was OK again and happy to be there. It was a fun morning with our friends.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hot Air
























Saturday morning, Chad, Maggie and I met up with our friends in downtown Clovis for ClovisFest, the city's annual hot air balloon festival. Chad and I have been before (click here), but this was Maggie's first time. Maggie and her buddy, Nate, enjoyed watching the balloons inflate and set off, but might have liked chasing each other even more. A fun morning for all of us, even though we did have to wake up super early.