Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Happy Halloween

 We had a great Halloween this year with Wonder Woman and a trash truck.

 Bennett changed his mind about what costume to wear (he decided on last year's trash truck costume at the last minute), but we were just thrilled he wore any costume at all.

 The weekend before Halloween we took the kids to go trick-or-treating in one of the downtown areas.  Not surprisingly, the kids quite liked going into stores and coming out with candy (what's not to like?).

 We carved pumpkins the night before Halloween and when we went outside to check it out, Orelia was in awe and Bennett was mostly just freezing.

 Orelia designed her spooky happy pumpkin, and we carved it together.  She was very proud of it, and I was glad we went through the trouble even though both kids refused to help dig out the pumpkin guts.  I thought that was supposed to be the fun part!

 Halloween at school was a big deal this year, and Orelia volunteered to go first when discussing and displaying her costume to her friends.  They did a sing-a-long and then a parade, which was hilarious and adorable, as one would expect.

 Finally at long last it was time to go trick-or-treating, and Orelia was beyond thrilled.

 Bennett was a little unsure, but definitely interested that there might be candy happening in the near future.

 This kid loooooves candy.

 And this girl loves dressing up.

 Halloween is a holiday she was made for.

 Halloween is also a great holiday for uncles who know how to take a joke.  Uncle Bobby was a hit with the five year olds this year.

 Orelia's boots were a hit with the adults (and with herself).

 We went to a friend's house to celebrate and trick-or-treat, and it lived up to the hype for both kids.

 After each piece of candy Bennett would hold it up and ask "Do I like this one?"

 Luckily he likes basically all candy, so I could always say yes.

 After his bag got a bit heavy, Bennett was ready to head back to our friend's house.  When we turned around to walk back we skipped all the remaining houses for candy.  Bennett instead chose to play the role of trash truck and stopped at every house to pick up their imaginary trash bins.  The perfect Bennett ending to the night.

 Orelia didn't want to turn around until we made her, and she got quite the haul.

It was a happy Halloween for us, and we hope you had a great one too!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

We Have Moved

Hi everyone!  We moved!  Things are crazy in our neck of the woods trying to put together our new house and sell our old one, but we finally got internet hooked up yesterday and I wanted to share an update.  We are only about a mile away from our old house, so the location isn't too different.  The kids are adjusting to their new spaces and Bennett is thrilled all of his trucks came along from the old house.  Orelia is suffering from the loss of a closet (she used to have TWO), but we suspect she will make a full recovery.  Uncle Bobby is in town to offer his expert design advice and drive me crazy, and Grandma is here to help get us settled while John is off traveling in Asia.  Orelia missed four days of school last week from fevers, and Bennett looks like he caught the bug.  We visited the doctor this morning where the kids were energetic, happy, and exhibiting no symptoms of any kind (such is life, right moms?).  Both kids began their hacking coughs as soon as the doctor left the room, but it seems they just have back-to-back colds and should be better soon.  I can't wait to take some photos of our family enjoying our new house, and I promise to document Halloween  in all its glory.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bennett's Third Birthday

After many months of waiting, Bennett was thrilled when his birthday finally arrived.

His presents consisted of the classic combination of seals and trash trucks.  Oh wait, your kids don't love both of those things?

Orelia insisted she help Bennett unwrap his presents, which thankfully he allowed.

It was a happy morning in our house complete with bed-head, favorite pajamas, and all the trash trucks one could desire.

We met one of Bennett's best buds at the doughnut shop for a morning treat.  His friend brought a gift for Bennett, and both boys happily played with fork lifts as little boys would.

Bennett insisted on the pink doughnut and was so pleased my friend brought a candle and lighter so we could serenade him with the birthday song.

After the doughnuts we headed to Johnson Park, Bennett's absolute favorite park.

There is a gigantic concrete slide there that kids traditionally ride down on boxes.

But if you are Bennett, you ride down without the hindrance of a box.

And then you gleefully stroll up the slide while your mom begs you to use the stairs.

Is there anything more fun than ignoring your mom's safety pleas?

Don't worry, once the concrete slide lost its luster, Bennett found plenty of joy in sliding down and climbing up the twisty slide.

After a nap, Bennett was thrilled to wake up and play with his new toys again.

Just a boy and his trash trucks, no big deal.  (Don't worry, at least some of these were party favors for his birthday party).

Bennett LOVES purple and truly finds great joy in all things purple.  So this year he had a purple ice cream cake topped with purple cars and filled with chocolate ice cream (of course).

We had so much fun celebrating our happy little three year old!

And he very much enjoyed his icing coated purple trucks.  Happy birthday, Bennett!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Swings, S'mores, and Golf Carts

 Last weekend we had a great vacation in Carmel Valley, which Orelia described as "magical," and I'm inclined to agree.

 We stayed at a kid-friendly resort where we did things like take a tour of their organic farm (where I spotted this hummingbird having lunch while Bennett sat in my lap eating a snack).

 The official dog of the hotel is a bulldog named Roxy that Bennett adored.

 We lucked out and had beautiful weather that was even warm enough for a swim in the pool.

Or in Orelia's case, a throw and then a swim in the pool.

 Bennett very much preferred to not be thrown, thank you very much.

 We sampled almost every item on the kids menu at the hotel restaurant.

 The chocolate chip pancakes were a favorite, not surprisingly.

 One night Bennett ordered the kids' steak off the menu,

And then he proceeded to eat every single bite of his mini filet. He knows what he likes.

 John booked this trip over my birthday weekend so we could celebrate together on vacation.

 We went to the beach on my birthday, and I had forgotten how soft the sand is in Carmel and how blue the ocean is.  It was the perfect place to celebrate.

 It was beyond gorgeous and the kids had a blast.

 Orelia kept racing down the big sand dune.

 Harper played chase with every dog that came our way.

 And Bennett made use of all the sand, digging with all his trucks and proclaiming "I love the beach!"

 We attempted a birthday photo.  Seems about right.

 Bennett loves all forms of transportation, almost equally.

 The resort was packed with golf carts, and he would eagerly point out every. single. one. we saw.

 His mind was about blown when we took a few golf cart rides to dinner and such.

I think I can safely say that was the highlight of his trip.

 One of Orelia's highlights was swinging on the "rope swings" hung from the gorgeous oak trees all over the resort.

 I can't think of a time we walked by one of these swings and she didn't sprint over to it to give it a try.

 Sometimes it's the simple things that make a trip memorable.

And we found so much joy in watching Orelia flying away on these swings.

Almost every night we gathered around the fire to make s'mores for dessert.

 Orelia had been looking forward to this part of the trip a lot, and it did not disappoint.

 Bennett quite liked it too, though to be honest he was more in it for the straight chocolate eating.

 Orelia was kind enough to toast many marshmallows for her mama, so I got my fair share.

She knows I like mine well done, so she diligently burned many marshmallows and practiced the art of blowing them out.

 And just to cap off our most photogenic vacation of all time, the kids took nightly baths in the outdoor bath tub in our room.

 I can assure you there is just as much, if not more, silliness that occurs in an outdoor bath with your brother as there is indoors.

We are already daydreaming about our next trip back to this magical place filled with swings, s'mores, and golf carts.