Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Break

Spring Break ended a week ago, but I'm still trying to catch up. We started out our break on Friday by picking up Bella the hamster from Carson's Kindergarten class. We were the lucky family chosen to babysit the little lady. The first three days my kids were totally obsessed with her and wanted to hold her non-stop. It was a wee bit annoying since I was the one who had to get her out of the cage and sit with them each time they held her and I'm also the one who HATES rodents. It was especially lovely when McCall reminded me that Hamsters are a cousin to Rats and that rats are actually less aggressive. This information proved true when our family came to visit on Sunday and my sweet sister-in-law was attacked by Bella! She totally bit her. I felt so bad, but I was also thrilled that this also cured my kids desire to hold her non-stop. Sorry for the unfortunate bite Jen.

What could be better than starting out Spring Break with a visit from your cousins. It was so great to have Steve, Jen and the girlies out here for a visit. We went up to the Temple grounds after conference where everyone ran around and gotten eaten by mosquito's.
I love how they all just pick up where they left off and watching how much fun they have together.

Gracie and Mark looking cute.

These two girls can't get enough of each other. There were tears at the end of our visit.

Look at these cute kiddos.

Gracie and Abby.

Unfortunately the cousins had a fun ski trip planned and had to leave to head up to Tahoe. We decided on Monday night it might be fun to head down to San Francisco for a few days on Wednesday. Since Mark had to work, this was a close destination that I could drive the kids too and one that they all love. We started out our adventure at the beautiful Muir Woods.

Those big trees are so beautiful and never cease to amaze me. It is so peaceful there, I just love it and so did my least for the first 2 miles.

Carson was a serious poser and kept asking me to take his picture. It made me laugh the whole day.
This little boyfriend liked the mud and leaning over bridges...
The kids with their good friend Rizal. His family made the trip with us.
Not only was Carson interested in having his picture taken, but he also wanted to take a bunch of photos too. He snapped this one of Gracie and I. I loved seeing Muir Woods through his little eyes.

By the end of the 3 hour visit, Bayden wasn't feeling the love and was ready to jet. I wasn't feeling the love either with all of the mud everywhere and I really wasn't feeling it when Carson threw up all over the car on the way down the hill. Seriously, you would think I would learn by now that every time I drive more than 30 minutes with my kids, someone barfs!!! Why don't I make ziploc bags mandatory like seat belts? It was sick and it didn't help matters that the windows in my car are broken, so we couldn't roll them down to ventilate. I was really missing Mark at this point. I was still getting wafts today on the way home from church, so I think it is time for me to do a deep car wash cleaning.
After that little incident, I decided to go straight to our hotel at Pier 39. Checked in, confessed that I need two rooms with adjoining doors because it was me and five littles. Two rooms were not available, but the clerk didn't seem to care that we were all in one room. We got Carson cleaned up and changed and then everyone (including Carson) wanted their Chili bread bowls!

All five of the kids got them and devoured them. Parker was the cleanest of the crew, but you can still see the chili on his chin. After chili it was time for a little boat watching (Bayden's obsession) and then some Sea Otters!

Bayden was a pro pointing out every ship that came our way. He would yell "BOAT!!!" until we all acknowledged him. Just let me tell you there are A LOT of boats in the San Francisco Bay and I acknowledged all of them.

My kids never get tired of those cute Sea Otters and could watch them for hours.

Then it was time for a little Merry-go-Round and some homemade mini donuts...yum yum.
Then I realized Carson had spilled Chili all over his last clean outfit, so we headed to the Gap for a spare before heading down to Union Square and our beloved glass elevators. At 10:30 I realized the reason everyone was walking so slow was because it was 10:30. I loaded them back in the car and drove back to the hotel and we settled in to watch a little Disney Channel together. A real treat since we don't have it at home.

Love these little thumb suckers. We all slept great and then woke up and had a great breakfast at the IHOP below our hotel. We then headed over to Golden Gate Park to go to the Academy of the Sciences. Unfortunately, 3 million other people had the same idea, so we decided to ditch the line and hit some other fun parts of the park. Stow Lake and the paddle boats is a favorite, even if it starts raining. Gracie loved her life jacket and all of the ice cream at the over-priced snack shack.

Actually, we all loved the ice cream.
It was confirmed to me how out of shape I am when I thought I was going to die paddling that boat around the lake. My legs were so sore, but the kids loved it!

Then we headed over to the Conservatory of the Flowers. Beautiful and lots of big grassy hills for the kids to roll down. I seriously can't get enough of this little face or this little guy. He is so much fun. When everyone else was rolling down the hill, he was trying to roll up it.

Another little face that I love. He kept telling me how much he "loved the beautiful flowers" and "thanks for a great day mom!" Do you like his new shirt?

We made it back in time for swim lessons on Thursday night. On Friday we got to dye Easter eggs with our good friends the Millett's. We had some serious artists on our hands.
Saturday we headed up to Tahoe to spend some more time with the cousins. I forgot my camera but they had a great time swimming and playing together. We got home late just in time to set out our baskets for the Easter Bunny. This is how we found Gracie on Easter morning. Sitting totally still in front of her basket waiting for the okay to dive in.

Bayden at the big neighborhood egg hunt bright and early. He is obsessed with that hat and insists on wearing it all the time. Today it was a total battle to get it off of him in the car before we went into church.

Gracie loading up on eggs.

Carson and Bay taking a break to eat a few of their finds. After church we had some of our dear friends over for dinner and another big egg hunt in the backyard. Here is Carson in action.

Here are the kids earlier that day in front of the temple in their Easter clothes. The sun was too bright and they didn't want to look at the camera, but I had to document it.

Bayden was done and decided to take off. It was a great break and I was SUPER sad to see the kids head back to school. The good news is only 28 more days of school!!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Basketball winds down, baseball and swimming wind up!

Two weekends ago we finished up the last of our basketball games and had our basketball parties. The kids had a really fun time playing and were of course so happy to get their trophies (it really is all about the trophies!) Here is Parker with his fabulous coach.

McCall chose not to go to her basketball party because it was on Sunday and conflicted with church. Her coach was so kind to come over to our house and present her trophy to her. Here is McCall with Coach Murray and his daughter Stefanie.

With basketball done we turned all of our energies to Baseball Opening Day last weekend. I have mixed feelings about this event. It is really cute to watch the boys march done the road all excited for the start of the season, yet it usually comes with a lot of work and competition. Since I'm always a team mom for one of the boys teams, I feel the pressure. Unfortunately, it never prompts me into much action and every year we continue to have the worst team decorations! It is actually quite comical to me now and Mark and I always have a good laugh. I just prefer a more laid back approach that doesn't require me to spend 40 hours away from kids preparing the amazingly creative and fabulous decorations. I also don't have the creativity or skill to pull it off. I really admire the folks that come up with all of the great ideas and details and give the rest of us something great to look at. This year was no different than the last here are a few pics to establish my point.

Parker is playing for the Phillies this year and his team mom's got some cute baseball's with their names on them. As you can see his basketball coach is also his baseball coach, bless his heart! He is really patient.

Then here comes the Nationals. We have been the Nationals for the past four years and every year I come up with the same idea. How about a flag? I know not creative at all. I did think it would be kind of fun to have all of the boys were Obama masks, but then I'm not about to spend $20 per kid on a mask they will only wear once, so the flags won again!
Coach Mark leading his boys down the walk of glory. As you can see, Carson was totally happy with his flag.

And no parade would be complete without Bayden bringing up the rear. Just for the record I did go the extra mile and bought some streamers for the wagon, but we were all so excited about the donuts that we forgot to decorate it. I know I'm a lame team mom that I let food take precedents over decorations. Until someone else offers to take the job the flags are here to stay.

And then it was my luck that the big guns would be placed right after us in the parade. Here come the Giants. Please note all of the darling details. The fabulous team mom with hair actually washed and styled wearing her giants t-shirt and her cute baby wearing her homemade baseball dress (seriously if you look at it closely it is baseball fabric and isn't she a cutie with her matching bows and shoes?) I actually wouldn't even allow for my picture to be taken because my hair was not washed and Gracie was in her pajamas and well you saw Bay's hair.

And then their awesome wagon. A replica of the Golden Gate Bridge with little cars!!! It was really cute. They totally deserved to win because it looked like a lot of time and effort went into that baby. My good friend Julie from our team last year actually ended up on this team this year. We got to chat bit before and during the big parade. She's the best because she gets it. She made me feel so good about those little American flags and the smiles on the boys faces and yet she is also is able to embrace and appreciate the talents of her new team. I do wish she were still on my team because she is fun to laugh with. She did let me know however that her team has an architect on it, so clearly we didn't stand a chance :-)

After the big parade we had our first games. I only got shots of Carson's because I was actually really into Parker's and forgot to take some pictures. Carson was really into his game. Last year he would twirl around in the dirt most of the time and this year he was focused. Here his is playing pitcher

A little scramble to get the runner out at first.
Of course there was plenty of time for goofing off in the dug out. Parker had a great game too and both boys seem happy about a new season. Gracie and Carson also got to start their swimming this week. They both LOVE it and Gracie asks about 15 times a day when she gets to go swimming next. She really wants to do swim team this year, but that would require her to actually know how to swim. She's close, but I think she'll have to wait until next year.