Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Weekend Recap: San Diego Food Fest

To celebrate Joe's mom's birthday we thought it would be fun to do a weekend getaway to San Diego. First on the agenda was the Great American Food Festival! There were a ton of food trucks, and we wound up getting a bunch of different kinds of grilled cheese and some portabello sliders. In my opinion though, the standout star was definitely the fried ice cream, which was surrounded by a layer of cake, then battered, fried, and topped with caramel and whip cream. Soooo good! 

After we were completely stuffed we still had some time to kill before we could check into our hotel so we stopped by an outdoor mall to wander around for a bit. Ez got his hands on a yellow school bus and a yellow beetle van which his grandma kindly bought for him. After that he pretty much refused to part with them for the rest of the trip. Usually he likes to hold our hand when we're walking, but there was no way he was giving up one of his toys for that! I especially love the photo of Ez driving his car over Joe's head ;) 

We got a great deal on a hotel right on the water, with absolutely gorgeous views. Ez was mesmerized by a giant cruise ship blowing it's horn as it went past. He was also obsessed with collecting rocks and throwing them in the ocean. He is a master of cheap, simple entertainment and I'm definitely not complaining!

On Sunday we walked to breakfast then went to the zoo. All kinds of animals recently had babies, which I think is why the crowds were huge that day. The only baby actually out and about was the gorilla, who was sleeping on his mom's back as she wandered around grazing. It was so cute! We also saw some baby ducklings. And, of course, there were Ez's favorite: the elephants! Or Elba, as he calls them. 

After the zoo we got some lunch, and, of course, we couldn't leave SD without a stop by Extraordinary Desserts. This time I tried the coconut cake, and it did not disappoint. Ez was a fan as well.

All in all a fun, yummy weekend! How was your weekend? Hope you had a great one!

Monday, March 30, 2015

#BoyMOMS Box Swap

When Elizabeth and Stephanie contacted me about a blogger swap just for boy moms, I was all in. It's always great to get some new ideas on how to entertain a somewhat fickle, always on the go toddler. I was paired up with Paula, mom of 18 month old Jacob, and even though our boys are a few months apart in age they have very similar interests - aka anything they can throw and anything that goes is a sure win. I'm sure Ez and Jacob would be best of friends if they lived closer, playing catch and trains all day long. Be sure to check out Paula's instagram and blog to see what Ez and I picked out for them.

Paula and Jacob got us tons of cute goodies, but before we could get to the good stuff Ez had to take a few moments to play with the packing materials. It's possible he would've been content with a box full of bubble wrap. #Itsthelittlethings. Once we got to the actual contents of the box we were both loving the Disney theme, or "Mimo" as Ez calls Mickey. We just bought Ez a Cars potty, so the big boy Mickey underwear is both adorable and perfect timing. And I've been seriously craving some sugar cookies - so you totally read my mind with the Mickey cookie cutters/cookie baking supplies, Paula. Also, it's a little obscured in the pictures, but there are some Ghirardelli chocolates hiding in that pile, and we all know chocolate is the way to my heart. 

The standout star of the box was definitely the wooden Mickey matching and sorting game. The little wooden chips come in their own plastic container and Ez immediately got to work dumping them out then putting them back in one by one then shaking the jar up. I have to admit, it does make a satisfying jangle sound. He also enjoyed hitting the chips with his new Doc McStuffins bubble wand. Boys will be boys. 

Thanks so much Paula and Jacob! We can't wait to bake some Easter/Mickey cookies :)

Ez was super excited to dig right in
Ooooh! Bubble wrap!
Ezz bee-lined for this Mickey game
All my pictures of the Mickey game are being photobombed by tiny little hands.

Here's a full list of our goodies:
- Sugar cookie mix + cookie icing + Mickey cookie cutters
- Ghirardelli Caramels
- Mickey matching & sorting game
-Mickey activity coloring book + stickers
- Mickey undies
- Doc McStuffins giant bubble wand

Thanks again, Paula! And a huge thanks to Elizabeth and Stephanie for organizing and hosting this swap. Ez and I loved being a part of it! Be sure to head on over to Chasin' Mason and Wife Mommy Me to check out all the other boy activities everyone put together.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cars-Themed Easter Basket

When I was a kid, Easter was all about frilly floral dresses, lots of chocolate, stuffed bunnies, and, of course, egg hunts. Other than the egg hunt (this will be E's 1st time!), none of that really appeals to a two year old boy. Well, except maybe the chocolate, but Ez turns into the tazmanian devil on crack when he eats chocolate, so he's getting different treats this year. And instead of plush bunnies, he's getting cars, cause a boy can never have too many cars. I actually went with a car theme for Ez's 1st Easter basket too, but you know what they say - if it ain't broke...

After conferring with the Easter Bunny, this is what we decided Ez would like most:
- mini race cars
- Planes ball
- Lightning McQueen sugar cookie
- wooden red vintage truck
- Planes activity pack
- egg-shaped crayons
- peeps
- Bunny Tales touch and feel board book (for a touch of Easter tradition)

Bonus points for half of these items coming from dollar bins (Toys R Us, Michaels, and Target). And instead of a traditional basket the Easter Bunny has decided a sports-themed metal pail will get more use year-round, either for outdoor nature hunts, or indoor toy-storage. 

We started a new tradition this year and took Ez to meet the Easter Bunny. You can see for yourself how well that turned out: 

No tears, just a frozen look of terror and discreet inching toward the end of the bench. Even the bunny doesn't look that happy. Still, I'll consider that a step in the right direction. If you remember, Ez has a giant-rodent phobia:

Sorry Ez - the Bunny leaves treats, you've gotta make nice!

What's on your kid's Easter wishlist this year? Anyone else's kids spaz out on chocolate?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring (aka - Pre-Baby) Bucket List

I love bucket lists. Or maybe I just love lists, in general. But bucket lists are basically a fun version of a to-do list, so that makes them my favorite kind of list. This Spring bucket list is extra special, because it's also our last family-of-three bucket list. Since I'm getting into the heavily pregnant stage, I decided to keep our Spring list short and simple. Technically we've already accomplished some of these (hello, Disneyland, hiking, and beach!), but I want to cram in as many more of these trips as possible before it gets too super hot.

You can also check out last year's Holiday Bucket List, Fall Bucket List, and Summer Bucket List - and by the way, I'm super excited to put margaritas back on this Summer's bucket list!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's the Little Things: Ez Discovers His Love of the Ocean

My least favorite part of the beach is definitely sand getting EVERYWHERE. Ez's diaper afterward was unreal!
This past Sunday was slightly overcast, and 70 degrees - aka the perfect beach day! Actually, we probably did things backward, and should've gone to the beach last weekend when it was 90, and saved our hike for this past weekend, but I like cloudy beach days. There were no crowds and the sand wasn't burning hot. 

Every time we've taken Ez to the beach, he's taken one look at the ocean and started crying in fear. He loves digging in the sand, kicking his ball around, and collecting rocks and seashells, but the water has always been off limits. This time was no different. We tried to dip his toes in the water and he was having none of it, crying and running back to the shore. So we held him for awhile, Joe splashed in the water with Ez in his arms, and then we tried again, and something clicked for Ez. Suddenly he remembered that he loves splashing in puddles, and the ocean is like one giant puddle. After that we could not drag him away from the water. He was fearless. Even when a big wave came crashing toward him he just held his ground. His teeth were chattering, and Joe would try to bring him back to the towels to dry off and warm up and he'd just turn right around, point at the ocean saying "wawa" and take off for the waves.

Not only was Ez fearless, but he was tireless. Joe and I were both worn out before Ez was. We had to drag him away so we could go get lunch, and he managed to not only stay awake the whole time, but he even walked a ton so we could get gelato after. That boy is a trooper. Of course he fell asleep as soon as the car started moving, but that was one well-earned nap, if I do say so myself. We all capped off the evening lounging around, with Ez taking over the armchair like a big boy.

Here's a little video of Ez's first time actually enjoying the ocean:

Linking up with Jess for:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

26 Week Bump Update - Baby #2

Last week of the 2nd trimester! I can't claim that this pregnancy is flying by anymore, since lately I really feel pregnant. I don't have any majorly awful symptoms, but I feel large and awkward. Getting up off the couch or fishing toys out from under the TV stand make me feel as graceful as a turtle on its back, but so far I can still do those things on my own - just at a much slower pace and with lots more huffing and puffing than usual! Ez has actually started mimicking my standing up grunts, which is both funny and mean. Gotta love how a toddler always manages to pick your finest moments to mimick ;)

My mood is definitely more impatient than normal. Smells can be really annoying. Like that one time Joe ate roasted garlic (like several heads worth - not cloves, but entire heads of garlic) and then smelled like garlic for days after. There's now a garlic ban in the house. 

As far as sleep goes, I'm not a huge fan of napping cause it throws my whole day off, but some nights I wind up lying awake forever trying to fall asleep and then I can't make it through the next day without a nap. And then I feel bummed out because I don't get anything done. It's a vicious cycle.

I know I sound like a broken record, but salads and ice cream are diet staples. There's also been a lot of pizza this pregnancy. Joe and I aren't huge pizza fans, I'm much more into Mexican food, and Joe loves sushi or Chinese, but it's so nice when pizza just shows up on your doorstep and you don't even have to put on shoes or stop watching House of Cards. Plus Ez has decided he's a huge pizza fan too. Just no anchovies!! Joe did that once on his half of the pizza and the whole thing tasted fishy after that. Ick!

Slowly but surely we're making progress on baby stuff. We've tried out a few more strollers. Right now it seems to be down to the Contours Options tandem stroller or Graco Ready2Grow. Graco has a few more seating options, which I really like, but we hated the Graco infant carseat. Contours seems to be better quality, but I wish they had the sit/stand option. I also picked out two possible coming home outfits for baby. This lil guy will have lots of hand me downs, but I figure his going home outfit should be all his own. Also, this motorcycle outfit is supposed to entice Ez to like his baby bro more ;)

And, just to show how much difference a camera angle can make, here's one more beach shot where I look way more pregnant than the above picture:

Also, while we were at the beach I was chatting with a fellow mom who was saying how much easier and shorter her second labor was compared with her first. In general, I don't encourage labor stories while I'm pregnant, but if anyone else has those types of lovely stories to share, I'm all ears! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Our Weekend: Thomas and Toddler Beds

I mentioned last weekend that we wanted to check out the Thomas the Train exhibit at the Discovery Cube, but the LA marathon made that nearly impossible, so this past Saturday we made good on our promise to Ez and went to check it out. To sum it up there were kids and mini Thomas trains everywhere. It was basically a free for all madhouse toddler paradise and we overheard parents saying they'd been there for hours and their kids still didn't want to leave. They had a bunch of tables with tracks and trains set up, as well as giant trains the kids could climb on. Ez just wanted to play with the small trains and tracks (which were nearly identical to the ones he has at home). 

A lot of the kids there had a hoarder mentality, and would wander around collecting as many trains as they could fit in their arms, including the ones Ez was playing with. Ez always just sat there watching other kids take his toys without any protest. And half the time he'd helpfully hand them any toys they might have missed. Part of me is happy that he's so laidback, and part of me wants him to stand up for himself, but I assume he'll learn that real quick once his little bro tries taking his toys. Also, I'm just happy I don't have to follow him around removing all the toys he'd gathered and handing them back to the kids he took them from. Needless to say, we saw a few tantrums while we were there (none by Ez though).

There were a few other exhibits, but most of them were beyond Ez's age range, so we headed next door to the park instead. Joe and I were jokingly wondering what we used to do before kids. Our weekends are planned around activities Ez loves, and we're always on the lookout for any kid places that center around cars, trains, or animals. Not exactly the places we would have sought out before, but now our entertainment is watching what a kick Ez gets out of everything. And he was running around like a little tornado, totally in his element that day, so I'd say it was a pretty successful weekend.

After plenty of kid fun we headed to Ikea in search of a bed for Ez. Ikea was apparently the adult version of the Thomas exhibit because it was also a madhouse. After a harrowing walk through there I've decided people should have to pass a test before they can operate shopping carts. As soon as we saw the checkout lines we decided to abort our mission and get the heck outta there, but we did make good progress on our toddler bed search and 5 stores + countless gaudy car-themed beds later we have selected this bed as our top contender. It's got storage, and a pull out bed, which would make it great for guests. Now we just need to find time during the week to make it back to Ikea.

On Sunday we went on our first beach visit of the year, but we got so many great photos that I'll save that for another post. We capped off the weekend with some spring cleaning, Walking Dead, and House of Cards. What are we gonna do when both those seasons are finished??? If Ez has it his way, we'll just watch Thomas all day long. He's never actually watched that show before, but after the exhibit we realized they had Thomas on Netflix, and as soon as we put it on Ez froze in place and was transfixed for a good 30 minutes. It's like he was hypnotized. Joe and I decided it's the worst children's show we've ever seen (in terms of boringness), but if we ever need to buy ourselves a half hour chunk of time now we know how.

How was your weekend? Hope you had a great one!
Introducing Daddy to Thomas.
All the kids got Thomas hats. Ez was not a fan.
In his element.
Learning about pulleys (aka - make someone else do the heavy lifting)
This backpack was too cute! He shrugged it off and ran away in 2 seconds flat though.
Coolest swings ever - I want one for our backyard.
Ez trying to drink from a fountain was pretty comical. He kept closing his mouth as soon as the water hit his face.
And one snap from our Friday night (unsuccessful) bed shopping mission.