Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sugar Pine Park

John and I haven't done much hiking since the kids were born, and when he said he wanted to go on a "hike" one morning I genuinely thought he meant a walk around the neighborhood.

 Turns out he had something a lot more adventurous in mind, and I'm glad he did.

 No neighborhood walk can compare to this.

And our little/big girl loved exploring on her own at Sugar Pine Park.

 Her whole life, Orelia has always wanted to be with us or at the very least with friends, but she has been seeking independence a lot more lately.  She finds exploring more fun without an adult tagging along.

 I'm not sure exactly how much beauty she can really appreciate yet, but she loves to look around and see what is there, even if she isn't seeking out beauty in the same way an adult would.  Here she is mesmerized by a school of minnows.

 Bennett quite liked the state park too, but he needed a lot more uppies and encouragement to get form Point A to Point B.

 I bought Orelia some "athletic clothes" for her sports camp coming up this summer, and she's been loving wearing them for our adventures in Lake Tahoe.  Girl has always loved dressing the part.

 She doesn't need any more encouragement to seek out adventure, but apparently dressing in skorts and rainbow sneakers makes it all the more fun.

 After our lakeside walk, we wandered up to the gazebo for a snack.

 My kids have been loving bags of Cheetos and Doritos this vacation, and will be sorely disappointed when this multi-pack is only left with Sour Cream and Onion Lays.

What good is a vacation without some junk food?

 We had plans for a different hike this morning to see a castle, but much to our dismay (especially Orelia's), the parking lot was full and we were left with nothing to do.

 Since Uncle Bobby and Grandma hadn't seen Sugar Pine yet, we took our tiara-clad girl and the rest of the family back to our new favorite hike.

 Bennett had even more fun this time because there were more adults to allow him to stay back and just sit in the dirt and play with trucks.

This kid is loving  exploring every nook and cranny of Tahoe dirt.

 A few minutes into our second trip to the park Orelia changed out of her "princess" dress and into her "adventure clothes."  A tiara and a big smile suit her.

 She seems to have grown up so much this summer already, and she's not even five yet.

 She is climbing every surface and jumping off everything imaginable.

 The only thing that seems to stop this girl is when something spills on her outfit.  Ha.  Luckily I always keep a spare.

 She climbed on this rock and asked me to take some photos of her, while she essentially showed her fiercest poses.

 She is running everywhere these days, and it's such a relief knowing she can mostly stay safe when she does run off.  Unlike Bennett, who would jump off a dock if we aren't looking, Orelia knows her limitations and will usually only go one small step beyond them.  :)

 Sugar Pine Park also houses the Ehrman Mansion, which Orelia was sad we couldn't explore inside (since we weren't willing to wait for the guided tour).  I'm not sure she quite understands you can't lay in all the beds and touch all the things inside a house like this.

 All disappointments are easily healed with ice cream, though.

And luckily Sugar Pine Park comes with its own purveyor of sugar.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lake Convert

 I've never been a lake person before; I've always been more of a beach girl.

 That was true until I came to a lake like this.

Beautiful doesn't even begin to describe it.

 We are here at Lake Tahoe for our big summer vacation, and are loving exploring the best ways to vacation at the bluest lake one can even imagine.

 Some of our family is here with us this first week, and the kids are loving all the extra attention.

 Bennett requests stories from Grandma about "Snoopy and Flower" roughly every other minute.  Orelia loves these made up stories as well, and the stories originally came about based on her obsession (which seemingly has transferred over to Bennett).

 Most of the next two weeks you will either find me like this.

 Or possibly like this.  (Thanks, Dad, for the photos!)

 Noni is here too, and Orelia loved cuddling up to her for this photo.

 Bennett even managed to come over for a photo while not holding a truck for a change.

Harper is loving being able to come along with us on this trip.

 And while Harper is loving playing fetch in the lake, she thinks it might even be colder than the San Francisco Bay.

Uncle Bobby arrived a couple of days after the rest of us, but has already been put to work keeping Bennett busy and providing haircuts to everyone in the family who has been trim-free for months.

We have already crammed a lot of fun into our first few days, and I can't wait to share more about our trip soon!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tickle Monster Master

Is there a secret class that men take before they become dads?

 A class that teaches them the art of playing tickle monster?

 We sure are lucky that the daddy we have around has mastered the art of tickling.

 My kids just can't get enough of being chased around and mercilessly tickled by the Tickle Monster Master.

 John isn't even the least bit ticklish, so their only recompense is pulling up grass and throwing it on his head.

 Trust me, that does not appease the Tickle Monster.

The kids are in for it, because it appears John must be studying up for his Ph.D. in tickling.  It's going to be a very laughter-filled summer.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Spring Recital

 One of my favorite things about being a mother of a little girl is attending her dance recitals.

 The morning of the recital, it was beautiful and sunny, and we had plenty of time to get her hair just right and slip into her first outfit.

 This was her first recital where she had a full length mirror in her room, and she was thrilled to check herself out before we headed to the show.

 Orelia absolutely loves her dance recitals - the primping, the makeup, the costumes, the friends, and the performing!

 What's not to love?

 This recital was a surprise for me.  I hadn't seen any practice performances at the studio, and Orelia refused to practice at home.  Her first dance was to "My Girl."

 You can watch the adorable performance here - she is in the front row far right.

 Orelia's second dance was her "hip hop" number to a song from The Lorax called "Let it Grow."

 Orelia has always been keener on the faster paced songs, and loved dancing to this one.

 She especially loved jumping up and down (even occasionally when she was supposed to be jumping).

 Through some careful cunning or perhaps by accident, she found herself much closer to the front and center than she is intended to be.

 Feel free to watch the performance here.  She starts in the front right.

 After the show, Orelia was thrilled to receive her mini bouquet and get a big hug from her daddy.

We shared cupcakes and lollipops with our friends to celebrate, and all in all, had a great morning.