Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2015 Fall Bucket List

Truth be told, we started crossing items off this list before I'd actually made a list, so maybe it's technically cheating to include them here. But since I haven't posted about any of those adventures on the blog yet, we'll just let that slide, right? And one more disclosure: this list is pretty darn near identical to last year's fall list, but with Nor Cal items substituted for most of the So Cal stuff. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit. Fall is all about family traditions. We'll save new adventures for Spring and Summer ;)

Happy almost October!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Our Weekend part 2: Davenport

Lately we've been covering so much ground on the weekends that I need a day to relax and recover from the weekend. Kinda backwards, I know. There's just so much new stuff to explore around here though, we can't help ourselves. This past weekend was definitely that type of weekend. And everywhere we went everything was so scenic that I somehow wound up with a thousand new pictures in my phone. So that's how we wound up with a two part post. Because nobody wants to be bombarded with a thousand pictures all at once. Or at all, you may argue. Don't worry, as hard as it was I narrowed it down to my 900 faves. Kidding.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen that we went apple picking on Sunday. And you may also notice that there are no apple picking pictures here. So technically this is gonna be a three parter. I told you there were a lot of pictures. After apple picking, we stopped for lunch in Davenport which is a really tiny scenic coastal town off the PCH. Ez loved it because there were a ton of motorcycles both driving and parked. Dear Son - Please get over this motorcycle obsession before you can drive. After lunch we walked around to explore a little and check out the ocean views. The northern California coast is just so beautiful. Between the rocky cliffs, and the Redwoods, and the crashing sounds of the ocean, it's all so striking. Not at all inviting like southern California beaches, but beautiful all the same.

As you can see below, that's Davenport's historic two room jail that has had a grand total of two inmates (horse thieves) and a handful of drunks sobering up. But the big question is: Why is my child trying so hard to get into the jail??

Stay tuned for an apple picking overload coming soon. And who knows, maybe a few apple recipes, because pretty much everything we eat this week is gonna be appleified. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Our Weekend: Time to Start Saving for College

Back when I put ride a train on my summer bucket list we still lived in an area of Southern California where public transportation sucked. I was thinking we would make a day of it and Ez would get a kick out of his first train ride. Now that we've moved it's looking like trains will be our preferred mode of transportation on the weekend, so expect to see lots more train pictures until the novelty wears off. 

This weekend my parents came over and we took the train to Palo Alto for some lunch, shopping, and a walk around Stanford. Let's start at the beginning when we had to run to catch the train and they shut the doors and started moving before Joe and Declan got on. I had to tell the conductor several times that he had to let me back off because my baby was still out there and I had to breastfeed him. Reluctantly they stopped the train and we got off and killed an hour at the park then caught the next train. Apparently we gotta work on our public transportation skills. Also it's possible my mom will never visit again because running is not her thing. Or mine either, actually. Sorry mom!

If you've been following along with this blog for awhile you may have picked up on the fact that Joe and I like to walk around college campuses. Whether or not we actually attended those schools makes no difference. There's just something so serene and pretty about wandering around colleges. So now that we're so close to Stanford of course we had to check it out. The campus is pristine and the architecture is gorgeous. There are so many cool gardens to sit in, beautiful walkways and arches, plus a sculpture garden by Rodin. We've decided if we all start saving now either Ez and Declan can go to Stanford. They'll have to flip a coin for it though.

A few other fun tidbits from our day:
  • We walked up to the chapel just as a newlywed bride and groom were exiting. Such a beautiful moment to witness.
  • Ez dropped a half eaten piece of See's candy on the floor then sank down to the ground next to it. In Joe's words, Ez, my mom, and myself all gathered around the half eaten candy and held silent vigil. It was a sad, sad moment.
  • According to Joe's pedometer we walked over 15 miles. That negates the cheesecake I ate, right??

Friday, September 25, 2015

Happy 3 Months, Declan!

Dear Declan,

For some reason you seem intent on growing up at lightning speed. You've already rolled over once, from tummy to back, and you've nearly scooted your way headfirst off the changing table. Your strong rolly little legs are always kicking, and it seems like you're just raring to use them to get you places. Slow down! Mama's not ready for a crawler yet. This week you had your first round of shots, and you should know your big brother was crying right along with you. He's so protective of you and hates seeing you in any kind of pain. I hope you two look out for each other long into adulthood. In other news, you're still the sweetest little baby ever. All chubby cheeked and wide-eyed with those long curly lashes that you and your daddy and brother all share. You've got the bubbliest personality and something tells me you'll be the extrovert of our family. My favorite time of day is when you and Ez join me in the kitchen as I'm preparing dinner. You both sit on the counter and chatter away with me and each other and I hope that's a tradition that continues for many more years. I may have watched a few too many episodes of Chopped, but I like to think I'm raising little chefs in the making. Whatever you decide to be, we'll always love you more than you'll ever know.

You're 15 pounds, which puts you around the 65th percentile for weight, and almost double your birth weight. Apparently the rest of you is tiny though. At 23.25 inches (almost 4 inches grown in three months!) you're in the bottom 10th percent for height and your head circumference is in the bottom 5 percent. So basically you're the exact opposite of Ez who had a giant head and was nearly underweight. As long as you're healthy, that's all I care about. 

  • "Helping " mommy in the kitchen 
  • Joining us at the dinner table in your bumbo seat
  • Walks in your bjorn carrier 
  • Being talked to 
  • Mickey Mouse. Or maybe just watching Ez dance around to Mickey Mouse. Either way, Disney keeps you both entertained.
  • Being held 
  • Having your back patted
  • Spitting up on mommy as soon as she puts on a clean shirt 
  • Sometimes your swing. Sometimes not.

  • Car rides 
  • Being hungry 
  • Being gassy
  • Shots
  • Daddy kisses (he's scruffy)
  • Brother kisses (they usually turn into more of a headbutt than a kiss)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall! A Look Back

Obviously I'm really excited for fall, but before I get started on a fall bucket list and throw myself into all things pumpkin I wanted to take a little look back at our summer. It was a pretty special one, after all. Declan made his appearance right at the beginning of summer, and as we ease into a new season, it's crazy to think Declan has been here just three months. It feels like his sweet little smile has been lighting up my world for so much longer. Yet at the same time it also feels like just yesterday that I was pregnant. And his birth. I'm pretty sure those two hours are gonna live vividly in my memory as if they happened just yesterday for a long looong time. So as we're saying goodbye to our first season as a family of four, I wanted to do a little walk down memory lane. In the form of collages, of course.

Some of my favorite summertime memories:

Even though we didn't check off all the items on our summer bucket list, I think we came up with lots of spontaneous adventures and made our first few months as a family of four memorable and fun. Can't ask for more than that!

Happy 1st day of fall!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Our Weekend: Museum of Technology & Date Night

This weekend we had our first overnight guests when Joe's mom and husband came to visit for the weekend. We kept joking that they brought the heat with them because the temps jumped from 80s to almost 100 while they were here, then right back down to the 80s as soon as they left. Not ideal for wandering around outside, but we didn't let that stop us. 

On Saturday we took the train downtown to visit the Museum of Technology. DJ Ez and Lightning McQueen loved the interactive musical activities. Afterward we walked around and got some lunch before heading home.

That evening Joe and I left the kids with the grandparents and went out for some sushi and shopping. It was great to have some grown up conversation that didn't revolve around reciting lines from one of Ez's cars books. Unfortunately when we got home we found out Declan hates formula and refused to drink it, so he was a little pissed at us. 

Sunday was pretty laid back with a trip to the farmers market, some Mexican takeout, and an Uno marathon.

The perfect mix of on the go and relaxation, just the way a weekend should be. How'd you spend your weekend?

Countdown to Halloween Linkup Announcement!

It's here! The best season of all! Happy fall!

Ok, technically we've got a few more days of summer, but I've been seeing all kinds of fall bucket lists floating around blogland lately, plus pumpkin decorations popping up on Instagram, aaand we got our first bit of cool weather. After living in Southern California for 14 years and never experiencing a real fall, temps in the 70s is a pretty big deal. So the point I'm trying to make is that I could not be more excited for pumpkins and baking and sweaters and more pumpkins. So excited, in fact, that we may have already visited a pumpkin patch this year. You know, just to check it out. Breathe it in. Get an early dose of those feel good fall endorphins.

Last year I joined in with Courtney over at Sweet Turtle Soup for her annual countdown to Halloween linkup and this year I'm super excited to be co-hosting with her and three other fall-loving ladies. Part of the fun this season is seeing all the great decorations, activities, recipes, and crafts everyone comes up with, so consider this your formal invitation to please join in with all your favorite fall and Halloween posts. Everything fall related is welcome, big or small, from cozy to spooky, from pumpkin socks to your best fall recipes to costumes and everything in between! If you wanna check out a few ideas, you can see all of our family's 2014 Countdown to Halloween here.

If you haven't stopped by CourtneyAmandaElizabeth, & Kelly's blogs yet, you're missing out! They each have the sweetest families and I can't wait to see all of the fun ideas they come up with to celebrate this season.

October 5th - remember the date because that's the first linkup! To join in on the fun, just check back each Monday in October, as well as the first Monday of November (Oct 5th - Nov 2nd), then grab a button, and post away! Don't forget you can also join in on the fun on Instagram with #cdtohalloween15. The Joni Journey

Easy, right? Email or comment if you have any questions and I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Friday, September 18, 2015


Even though us stay at home parents don't go to work Monday through Friday, and I won't speak for anyone else, but I personally forget what day it is half (ok, all) of the time, Friday is still pretty magical. It means two full days of extra reinforcements, and lots of family time. This weekend we're getting double of both those things because Joe's mom and husband are coming for a visit.

A few reasons that make me oh so happy for this Friday:

Ez had a nasty fall on Wednesday that resulted in an immediate and huge bump right in the middle of his forehead. It happened right in front of me as he was running on the playground and seeing and hearing his head bounce off a step scarred me, to say the least. Everyone keeps saying this is the first of many scrapes and bumps, which isn't exactly what I want to hear. Even though it's true. Send wine. And face cream + hair dye because I feel myself aging by the minute.

Declan is a little Goliath compared to Ez at the same age. His 3 month weight is equivalent to Ez at six months. And apparently he's also much stronger because he's already rolled over and this morning he nearly scooted backward right off the changing table. I was turned the opposite direction to throw his diaper away and had to catch him by his foot as he was sliding headfirst off the table. These boys. Why are they always trying to land head first?? Ez wasn't mobile for a long time as a baby so I wasn't ready to be on my toes this early in the game.

During a rare moment of quiet this morning I thought I'd try to fix my nails. Silly me. Of course that set off Declan's radar that mommy is doing something so now is the perfect moment to wake up and cry. As I'm comforting Declan Ez sniffs out the open bottle of nail polish two rooms away in twenty seconds flat. How do they know when something they're normally not allowed to touch is suddenly within their reach? Ez brings the bottle to me with red polish all over his hands but somehow not a drop wound up on the floor. I'll count that as a win.

And all this after the toddler shenanigans I already wrote about over here earlier this week.

His shirt says it all:

So a big yay for all the extra hands that will be here this weekend and fingers crossed Joe and I can sneak away for a date night too.

What's on your agenda this weekend?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Toddlerville - It's Their World, You're Just Living In It

Everything's always changing in Toddlerville. There's the wobbly toddler stage, the independent, do-everything-myself phase, the talkative phase, and the sassy phase. Right now we're somewhere in the middle of independent and talkative. So here's what's going on lately for us in Toddlerville:

- With the push of a button your toddler can reprogram the TV to Spanish, yet it takes an hour for two adults to figure out how to undo it.

- You make yourself a snack and two steps out of the kitchen you're met with accusing eyes and outstretched arms ready to take back their food that you dared to eat. 

- Everything is always mom's fault. Fell down trying to walk backward on the playground? Go blame mom. Can't fit your giant head between the couch and end table? Definitely mom's fault. Hurt yourself rough housing with Daddy? Somehow that's mom's fault too.

- You get tons of help with chores. For instance, all the dirty laundry winds up shoved back into a dresser drawer and dirty plates get put the trash can. Thanks kid.

- Several times a day everyone is expected to drop what they're doing and run circles through the house while screaming at the top of their lungs. I'm sure our neighbors love us.

- And, perhaps the greatest mystery in Toddlerville - the more tired you are the more energy you exert. In normal Adultland, lack of sleep means extra coffee and maybe a nap, but it turns out we've had it wrong this entire time. In Toddlerville, no sleep actually means extra laps running in circles and screaming. Where can I get whatever he's on?

What's Toddlerville looking like for you these days?

You can check out some past Toddlerville happenings here and here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Half Moon Bay

Weekends are for exploring! Especially now that we're in a whole new place with so many great day trips just a short car or train ride away. 

I'd been to Half Moon Bay a long, looong time ago. Like decades. But it's got a reputation as one of the prettiest beaches San Francisco has to offer, so it made it to the top of our unofficial Northern California bucket list. My mom had Saturday off and wanted to escape the heat, so she met us there, and escape the heat we definitely did! It was only high 50s/low 60s at the beach. The weather said the high would be in the 70s, so originally I thought we'd do a beach picnic, maybe play in the sand and let Ez dip his toes in the water. But once we were on the sand we were all goosebumps and shivers, definitely nothing at all like the southern California beaches we're used to, where we have to hot foot across the sand to avoid getting burned. We adjusted plans and went for a walk along the cliffs over the beach instead. Joe wore Declan and Ez for warmth. We saw a hawk up close, plus a bunch of horses, and the beautiful coastal views, of course. 

Afterward we got lunch at this great seafood restaurant nearby. Declan used his finely honed poosplosion radar to time his attack for the moment our food arrived. We're talking pooh all the way to his socks, people. How?? Aside from Joe and I having to make a mad dash through the restaurant, holding Declan at arms length in front of us, it was a perfect Saturday afternoon. 

And it didn't end there! We followed lunch with some fall-themed fun, but I'll save that for another post. For now, I've got plenty of beach pics to tide you over! See what I did there? Tide? Ok, I may have spent too much time around Joe. His punnies are rubbing off on me ;)