Wednesday, October 17, 2012


About three weeks ago we made the trek (again) down to Portland. It's a good thing I am loving the place, otherwise I'd go crazy with all the driving we are doing. I guess the driving gives us plenty of time to talk, plan, dream, and sleep. Charlie does really well in the car. We read books, watch Elmo or 'Memo' (Nemo), sing songs, point at various things outside, and count to twelve/sing our ABCs. Charlie puts on a show for us in the car, as he says/sings everything he knows, and then is too bashful to talk when we get around others. I need to catch our car trips on video.

(sidenote* Today Charlie was listing off his 'frens' or friends' names while I was driving. He kept saying 'Joe-Joe' (Joseph), 'Cucker' (Tucker), and his new favorite person 'Unc J-J' (Uncle Jason). I wish I got it on video!)

Anyways, we went down to Portland this time to visit with Sean's brothers, sister-in-law, and nieces. It was a packed trip, as always, but lots of fun, as always. We love family; his, mine, and ours-- doesn't matter who!

How we shop. Charlie has refused sitting in his seat. Sometimes we force him, but mostly we let him push the cart around with us.

Meeting up with everyone. 

Still trying to warm up to one another. It took a churro, given to them by Uncle Jason, to warm up.

Checking out Uncle Phillip's dental school. Sean was in H-E-A-V-E-N with all of the new tools.

I am on a role! I keep getting pictures with my sweet boy- decent ones too! Here we are getting ready to board the tram down into downtown. Charlie loved it!

The brothers and their firstborn children pose on our way around Portland via the street car. Proof as to why Charlie's favorite is Unc J-J. Uncle Jason is feeding him his favorite of the food groups-- goldfish crackers (shishees, as Charlie calls them).

Perfect. No waiting in lines for a sip!

Helping these two slide over and over again. They got the hang of it. Their shrieks and giggles were priceless. So far this is our favorite Portland park-- we are still discovering though.

No more assistance needed!


They warmed up to one another! These two keep all of us laughing. It's' a taste of what it would be like to have twins-- only a taste.

Portland is beginning to feel like home, even though we are happy to come home to our plowed cornfield.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall Activities

Charlie's favorite time of the year has to be now. He loves seeing the tractors, airplanes, trucks, and trains (choo-choos) all around town busily helping with the crop harvest. He had a front row ticket to watch as a tractor and large truck harvested the corn surrounding our house. He sat there eating his lunch, smiling, and saying 'traco traco traco'. I was not enjoying the show as much. I was suddenly feeling exposed as our corn barrier quickly dropped to the ground. I thought we had at least two more weeks of grainy security.

Swinging with Kennedy and Sofi at the berry farm. We came with several little ones, and their mothers, to pick pumpkins, play on the playground, go to the petting zoo, eat pumpkin donuts and cider, take a hayride, and have a picnic lunch. It was a perfect activity that guaranteed a three and a half hour nap afterward. Poor kiddo was exhausted! 

One of Charlie's favorite friends, Ethan. He loves the big boys, and Ethan gives him a good amount of attention.

I didn't want to disturb him when he was in his 'happy place'. He could play with the tractors all day! We have become country folk. I don't think you could get any of us back into city living.

On the hayride.

Farmer Bill pulling quite the load behind his tractor. A portion of the moms and children that came along. There were a few more moms and kids behind the photographer. Kudos to me for blocking Annette. Why I felt the need to lean that far forward is beyond me. All these wonderful people are in our ward and they've made it feel like home.

Charlie's pumpkin.

Our mode of transportation-- I can't wait to ride on it again at Christmas when we go and pick out a tree!
A hat for Charlie. He wore this envelope around the house for awhile and was so sad when it tore in half. We were dying watching him run around the house in this.

Another great thing about fall has been the co-op that we are involved in. Every Tuesday morning Charlie and I go and pick up his friend Joe and drive into the big city. We get to co-op, which is a class for toddlers his age and their mothers; have circle time; play in a large and fully equipped toy room while mom's attend a parenting class; read stories; eat snacks; play with play-doh; paint with our hands, paintbrushes, cars, and whatever else we find; do crafts; play with water tables and sensory bins; and then head out to the playground to finish up. Charlie and Joe love it, and I love that I am able to handle two kids! I got several stares, as I first started attending, at my belly and then the two boys. I think people thought I was nuts! We are exhausted by the end of the day, but I have been 100% successful at keeping both boys awake on our long 45 minute drive home. Naps feel the best on Tuesdays!

We love fall!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Summer: the one with all of the sand

Towards the mid-end of summer we could be found walking funny, scratching our heads, and applying sunscreen. We lived at the beach for a week. Sand and sunburns could be found in tricky, hard-to-reach places on our bodies, and our scalps enjoyed the nice sand exfoliation treatment they received at no extra cost. We spent much needed quality time with loved family members. We laughed a lot, ate a LOT, watched fantastic olympic events A WHOLE LOT, and played even more than we should admit. It was a perfect family vacation that I would love to relive over and over again.

Pregnancy was at it's best. I was 20 weeks along. I was not too uncomfortable and not feeling sick anymore.  Excellent timing!

Here is our wonderful California week in pictures. Too many pictures.

This attractive seal could be found here daily. He mastered the art of boogy boarding while I mastered the art of toddler chasing down the beach.

Wendy made skim-boarding look like a breeze.

Finding the sharks at Sea World

Proof that I was there and had a key.

Rachel found a beach Romeo to play lacrosse with.

Sean and Josh basking in sand art.

Sean's daily wake up call. He loved the Charlie alarm.

Checking out the sea turtles with cousin Rachel.

Concentrating on the star fish he was staring at. I love how his eyes reflect that he's deep in thought...or maybe he's working on a number dos.

Sean needed an eye-poking sunglass-wearing lesson from the little pro.

A first for Charlie: riding a ride. He wasn't so sure about it and had a look of concern on his face the entire time.

The squeals that were heard around this kiddie splash pad, by Mr. Charles, were too much fun. Sean and I sat watching and laughing at how much he enjoyed splashing with the other kids.

Lady Emily wanted to find a comfy place to lay down at the beach. We decided to all pitch in and help her out. Poor thing was probably finding sand in every crevice possible.

Walking the pier in style. We saw dolphins at the end. San Clemente is behind the models.

Charlie's belly button, or 'butt' as he calls it, is his comfort. He was found all week with his finger in his belly button. He taught the group to find theirs as well and it was a successful lesson.

Charlie's little footprint. 'San Clemente, CA. Charlie 17 months'

Checking out the beach bodies....or birds.

Charlie's favorite this trip was a toss-up. It was either Emily or Uncle Jason. Both entertained him and he loved every minute!

Playing peek-a-boo in our closet. A daily game we played.

On our safari at Safari Park. It was a pretty cool experience to see all the wildlife in more realistic environments.

Finally a group shot! I only wish it was centered and a close-up. Oh well, thank you lady tourist.

Isn't the carousel for adults?

Finally we got to meet up with Meg, James, Linc, and Koby on the last day. We enjoyed more beach time, dinner and then CRASHED at our hotel. I desperately tried to stay awake to visit, but failed miserably.

Koby taught Charlie how to get a tan as well as build a sand castle.

It was too much fun! Can we go back please? I don't even think we were that relaxed on our honeymoon!