Monday, July 21, 2008

Seth turns four

Lucky Seth got to have his grandparents arrive on his birthday for a visit. We decorated cupcakes as a family project, an idea I think I'll do forever--no slaving over decorating the cake! He opened his presents throughout the day, the highlight being his Razor scooter, and went to the exotic, cliff-diving Maya restaurant for dinner. The boys thought the fire dancers were very cool. I wish I'd had a picture of Seth staring open-mouthed at them, with his fists clenched in excitement.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Charlotte's First Birthday

Happy Birthday to my baby girl who is not a baby anymore. In the last week or so she seems to have gotten so much older. I see a little girl starting to explore her world and letting us all know what she thinks about it. She wants to be up, she wants to be down, she wants to keep up with Carden and Seth, she wants to be cuddled with her stuffed animals. She's got such an infectious smile and laugh--and even her growl makes me happy. Here's to you Charlotte Karenna. Life's much better with pink frosting!

Beach vacation

We spent two wonderful weeks in California. One week at Tyler's parents home and then a week at the beach in Monterey for Tyler's family reunion. My mother-in-law has always been a fantastic party thrower, and she went all out for us. Five cars drove down completely stuffed with food, movies, toys, inflatable swimming pools, balloons, party favors, craft projects, etc.

The kids had such a wonderful time being together, and thanks to all Grandma's entertainment, even the adults got to relax. Tyler's family has someone in every time zone of the United States, so we don't get together often enough.

Some favorite memories:

  • Watching "What about Bob?" and realizing that Ben's wife, Mandi, and I have basically married Bob. WAY too many lines from that movie are part of our husbands' daily conversation.
  • The family scavenger hunt in downtown Pacific Grove. How far can you make $10 go in 30 minutes? Not as far as Caroline!
  • Family DVD night. Every family had to create a DVD slideshow of their family's life, so we could "tour" the homes and lives of those who live far away. The kids loved seeing themselves and their cousins on TV.
  • Birthday party surprises. Surprise "Vickifest 2008" T-shirts for my mother-in-law's birthday party, and a surprise pirate party for one of the cousins, complete with costumes, props, and funny accents.
  • Grandma taking the kids to see "Kung Fu Panda."
  • Emergency run to Target to buy sweatshirts and long pants. We had one beautiful day at the beach, and the rest of the week was overcast and cold.
  • That one beautiful day at the beach in very un-Pacific Grove-type weather. One bottle of sunblock gone in one day! Hurray for the canopy that shaded us all.
  • Everyone taking a turn to make dinner--a great recipe parade of yummy food, and endless loaves of sourdough bread and chocolate malted crunch ice cream.
  • Family FHE, hearing some great counsel from my wonderful second parents.
  • Tucking the boys in bed every night and asking them, "what was the best part of today?" Their answer was always "EVERYTHING!"

Rockin Robins

For the second year, a robin family has built a nest in the wisteria vine climbing up our downspout. The slideshow is from last year. Every few days, once the mother bird had flown away to search for food, I climbed on a chair and aimed the camera down into the nest, since it was built too high for us to see into. Right now the babies are at picture 4; tiny feathers are growing in, but they still have mostly fuzz.

This year's nest location is, unfortunately, not as secure as last year's, and the prevailing winds have made the wisteria rock back and forth until it loosened the cable the vine is trained onto. Vine and nest sagged down to an accommodating eye-level, but also started tipping a bit precariously. So tonight Tyler and I, sacrificing all gardening instincts, hacked the wisteria almost in half, and bungee-corded the cable to the rain gutter. Mom and Dad Robin watched all this somewhat suspiciously, but I think we'll all sleep more safely tonight.