Monday, August 14, 2017

Soaking Up Summer

After having Ez all to myself the past four years I'll be sharing him with preschool in a few short weeks. More on preschool later, but for now I'll just say that I'm so, SO excited for him, and I hope he loves it and it sparks a life long interest in school and learning. 

Before we ease into daily schedules and responsibility and all that grown up stuff, there are a few more summer time activities I want to squeeze into August. I didn't make a summer bucket list this year because I knew we'd be so busy, but life has slowed down considerably this month and with fall right around the corner I have an itch to do all the summer things while we still can. A few of these are repeats that I want to do at least one more time, and a few are brand new. 

What's on your end of summer list? Or have you already moved onto back to school season? I know I say this every season of every year, but this summer has flown by so fast. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tourists in Our Town: Summertime in Sacramento

 It's no secret we love Sacramento, and even though we've had some scorching hot 110 degree days, we've somehow still managed to get out and explore a bit. Back in late June while my sister was visiting we spent an afternoon wandering around downtown and old town. Even though I've been to the capitol building several times, I still manage to find a new little corner or statue or piece of art that I never noticed before. This time we came across the Peace Officer's Memorial which was sad and touching, with a statue of a mom holding a crying child. There were fresh flowers on the memorial and Ez walked along with Ray and I taking it all in and listening to some of the names and hometowns we read aloud. After the memorial we gratefully escaped the heat for the nice, air-conditioned capitol building. Unfortunately a lot of the legislative rooms were closed when we went, but there was still plenty to see. Afterward we went to old town for a bit of shopping, and so the boys could check out the trains (Ray included). Turns out boys never really outgrow their love of all things with engines ;)

Sunflower Field
Thanks to Instagram I started seeing all these gorgeous field of sunflowers photos floating around my feed, and since they were only about fifteen minutes away from us of course we had to go check it out. I remember having giant sunflowers like these in my backyard as a kid so they brought back fond childhood memories. However I don't think I've ever seen quite so many sunflowers all in one spot. These pictures don't do justice to the giant sea of yellow that field was, stretching back pretty much as far as the eye could see. Of course, Decky being Decky, he wasn't content just looking at the flowers from a respectable distance. He had to defiantly march right into the midst of field to get the up close and personal experience. He's my little explorer through and through. 

Sacramento River
We've done a few walks along the river since we moved here, but until last week we had yet to find a good swimming spot. Especially after all the rain we had earlier this year, the river was pretty deep and fast moving and definitely not kid friendly. And then as we were driving home from Target one day we noticed a bunch of people hanging out on a beach and made a mental note to check it out. When we went back we were excited to find a nice sandy beach with calm, shallow, clear water complete with gold flakes and tons of tiny seashells. It's the perfect spot for kids and we've already been twice in the past two weeks. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Summer Livin'

This summer has been a season of BIG fun. Disneyland, camping, kid-free getaways, beaches, birthdays, and so many great adventures it's hard to imagine how we crammed it all into a few short months. But we've also been enjoying all the little things that summer has to offer too. Sprinklers and bubbles, splashing in all the water we come across, trains and garbage trucks, naps and snuggles, new playgrounds, and, best of all, long days spent with the ones we love. 

Heading into August we're enjoying a more laid back approach, without any big plans, which means lots of pool days, backyard evenings, story times, and family walks. Here's a little glimpse of our day to day life as we do our best to stay cool and soak up these last few summertime weeks. 

What's on your family's agenda this summer? Any big vacation plans or is back to school already on the horizon? 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Santa Cruz Beach Day

I'd been contemplating for weeks on how to fit in a summer road trip to visit my bestie in LA when she beat me to the punch and drove up to Santa Cruz for the weekend instead. And she just so happened to pick the BEST possible weekend because my sister was in Monterey for a conference and was able to come meet up with us as well. It was like all the stars aligned and I got to hang out with some of my favorite people in one of the most beautiful places on a gorgeous summer day. You can't ask for much more than that.

On Friday we headed out bright and early and after a three hour car ride and approximately 5,487 "get me out of here!" requests from Ez we got to the beach around lunch time. Santa Cruz has the best beach for littles because there's a calm, shallow inlet where they can basically run wild without getting tossed about by giant waves. An important consideration when there's one parent vs. two wildlings at the beach. 

We spent lots of time splashing, building sand moats, catching up, chasing sea gulls, and just generally enjoying each other's company. Once the kids were good and worn out we walked along the boardwalk for a bit taking in the sights and buying souvenirs. It was so hard to say goodbye after such a great day but thankfully I've got lots of fantastic memories (and pictures!) to tide me over till our next visit. Love this group of people so much!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

San Francisco Sisters Reunion

It's crazy that my sister's visit already came and went three weeks ago. It's one of those things I was looking forward to all year long, and it seemed so far away, and then all of a sudden it just snuck up on us and flew by so fast. Thankfully we already have another visit set up next year to look forward to.

One of my favorite parts of Bianca's visit was that we were able to meet up with our other sister Anna in San Francisco and have a mini sister reunion (3 out of 5 of us). The weather was perfect, the company was great, and we were in one of my favorite cities. It was a perfect day all around. 

A few highlights:
  • Ez's enthusiasm for trolleys and street cars hasn't diminished one bit and he was so excited to show them off to not one, but two aunts. A very special treat.
  • So much water everywhere. You can bet that Declan tried to climb or squeeze through every wall separating him from the ocean. Thankfully the walls won that battle. 
  • Discovering a new to us part of town on a detour to the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Ez insisted on being carried like a little baby by Auntie Anca until I called him out on it and then he shyly demanded to be put down and played it off like the big boy he is. 4 is such an inbetween age - half big boy, half baby, all bittersweet. 
  • Freshly made donuts on the pier. ALWAYS a must.
  • After the trip we showed Ez the photo of him in front of the trolley and asked "what's that?" expecting him to say "trolley", instead he said, "that's Mr. Ray!" (Bianca's professor). If you look very closely (5 photos down) you can see that Mr. Ray is indeed inside the trolley. Very perceptive and it also shows what a liking Ez took to Mr. Ray, making sure to share all his mini Thomas trains with him whenever he came over.
  • And best of all was the catching up and sister talk. Definitely a day I'll cherish for a loonnnnng time.