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.