Another morning walk for treasures in the fog.
The kids followed the lifeguard trucks tracks all the way down the beach. Cole tried to keep up.
We went to Monterey for half the day and visited Dennis the Menace playground, and while it was pretty cool, the kids were fixated on the paddle boats. So off they went while Cole and I strolled around the lagoon watching.
Then of course, back to the beach. There were some young adults that brought actual metal shovels to the beach and dug this huge hole, which took my kids about .2 seconds to discover and jump right on in.
A little reading/relaxing time in the condo before an attempt at some real beach photos.
This little love turned SIX so we needed a few six year photos!
The elusive photo of the three kids. This one below was the best of the best. Lol.
Cole has a mind of his own, and does what he wants when he wants. Oh, to be almost two.
Pretty awesome trip!! Can't wait to come back!
For Mark and Riley's birthdays, we took a trip down to Pajaro Dunes. I basically fell in love with it and want to go back soooooo many times! It's a little slice of heaven! We got up in the mornings and explored the beach, which was eerily foggy and empty, and we could explore during low tide and collect crabs and sand dollars and shells.
Coley would literally just run straight for the water. No fear, just right no in! He loved getting hit by the waves and then feeling them go back out.
Ocean loving kids!!
Jackson was so happy at the beach. Happy in the water, happy in the sand, happy searching for crabs, happy digging holes, happy happy happy.
There's also a little lagoon where you can feed the ducks, and of course, find trees to climb. Cole looooved the ducks but kept scaring them off!
The view from our window/patio at sunset. Nothing to complain about here!!
And that's just day one!!
I've given up hope of ever getting caught up with old photos and details, and just moving right along to the present. June. Summer. My favorite!
So in order for me to have a tiny bit of structure to our summer fun, I had the kids help me come up with some themes for different weeks. We already had some trips and camps planned, so the themes are designed to go with those as well. Nothing fancy or complicated, just fun!
Theme 1: FOREST!
We spent the first few mornings exploring Redwood Regional Park, hiking, building, collecting treasures, seeing bunnies and birds and all kinds of bugs! Learning the different kinds of trees, what poison oak looks like, why berry bushes have thorns, what animals live in the creek, etc etc etc. The big kids could have stayed and explored all morning, but of course Cole doesn't have quite the same stamina and was ready to go home for nap time.
Building "houses" out of logs. She moved all of those all by herself!
Riley decided to slide down the pile of rocks on her tummy. She was just a littttttttle dirty. Siiiigh.
When we got home Riley looked up what kinds leaves she picked up and made a little collage/design with her treasures, and Jackson painted his stick yellow, his favorite color.
We went back the next day and Jackson rode his bike, and almost wiped out big time quite a few times, but managed to come away uninjured. He says he's ready for a big bike without training wheels. I say we'll see....
We made a little small world forest in a water table for the kids to play with. Didn't take much effort to make it, and they loved it at first, but honestly it caused more fights than fun, so that wasn't exactly ideal.
And when I have had enough fighting between these two? Worksheets. They actually love them so it's not punishment, but it gets them to sit and focus on their own things so that they aren't focused on each other and fighting over something every five seconds. A little fine motor for Jack, and little math for Riley, and some peach and quiet for me! Win-win-win!
Other favorite summer activity so far? Playing down at the bottom of the court. Riding bikes, playing basketball, racing around with the neighborhood boys, so much fun!
We've also started weekend family hikes with my parents! Things we've all learned- I'm not very good at scouting out our hikes before hand. This one ended up being 3 miles of hug hills (up and down) on fairly bumpy terrain. And interesting ride with a bike and jogging stroller, thankfully we had grandpa to give shoulder rides when little legs were too tired to make it any further.
And then a little bit of good ole backyard summer fun. Some water balloons, some hot tub time at the grandparents' house. Perfect.
We picked the "forest" theme this week because Riley and Jack were signed up for their first camp together that was a sort of wilderness camp in Tilden Park. Lots of exploring in the woods, tree climbing, creek exploring, swinging, building, etc. They had a BLAST and can't wait to go back next year! They were outside from 9-3 every day and slept soooooo well all week! The camp is called Timbernook, in case you are interested in finding out local to you!
Next theme coming up: THE OCEAN!
Just a quick look back with the best dad to my 3 amazing babies. Not gonna lie, I got all emotional making and watching this video!!
Tomorrow is Riley's last day of school for the year! Last day of kindergarten! And then she is officially a first grader! I haven't gone through many of my photos from the last few months, so I'll just share a mish-mash of photos I had on my desktop from my phone :) Thank goodness for iphones!!
So much summer fun in store for us! I have plans. Big big plans. Coming soon. ;)
Best attempt at family photo. Cole 100% NOT into it. I still call it a success.
Found an awesome flower field. Vowed to take Riley there before it got mowed down. CHECK!
Riley and Jackson fight, a LOT. But oddly enough, they also love to snuggle together and will even nap together on occasion!
Jackson is 4 and in no form of preschool anymore. We do "home school" and it is super fun and he loves it! And I must admit, I have a ton of fun with him!
I have been working out more these days, mostly doing workout DVDs, and these kids love to work out with me too!
Cole took a bit of a tumble (maybe?) and actually we still don't really know what happened. It looked pretty horrific, but he was okay, thankfully.
Big blue Bartlett eyes.
This was a long time ago. Gave him a home haircut, so handsome! And buh-bye mullet!
And just another typical day in the life. Worms, water, and nakey babies.
This is a bit of a test post as I just got the app to post updates from my phone! Probably won't do it often but we will see! So to test it out.... Tired little Riley who fell asleep with the lights on while waiting for her turn to get tucked in. Sometimes it's tough being the oldest and most patient of the bunch!
So we finished up with the sickness, FINALLY, and Jack was finally healthy enough to go back to school, right in time for his birthday celebration! Well, turns out, that would actually be his last day of school. I ended up pulling him out of preschool for the foreseeable future, mainly because his preschool was pretty terrible with his allergies and I could no longer trust that they were going to be able to take care of him properly. So, home preschool it is from here on out for a while! More on that later...
This baby and this hat. I die.
And this guy turned FOUR. He got all his favorite things all day, including pancakes with powdered sugar.
Didn't make a mess at all. Not one bit.
A certain someone took a spoonful of yogurt and plopped riiiiight on top of his head.
Moves like Jagger, I tell ya.
The baby loves to read. Also loves to make a mess.
Toothless wonder with those big huge eyes (and very attractive expressions to boot).
So much fun to be had while Riley is in school! Park trips, riding scooters, playing outside, etc etc etc
And then, I did it. I finally just sat down and chopped off the baby mullet. He instantly looked way older, and Mark mourned the loss of the mullet for days.
Worker Jack and Cole sneaking fingerfuls of spilled sugar.
We started redoing our backyard, which means a lot of digging in the dirt, which means LOTS of worms, bugs and salamanders, so Jackson is pretty much in heaven.
Not to worry, not a rash, just Cole expressing himself artistically.
Look mom a salamander!!!!
Mom confession: sometimes, when both Riley and Cole get up way earlier than I would like, I send her in to read to him and that buys me a solid 30 minutes of sleep. He gets read to, she gets to read, I get to sleep. Win-win-win!
More to come soon-ish!
Getting caught up! Sooooo many pictures!
Jacky's favorite spot, waiting for daddy to come home from work.
Love this age (mostly). He is one FUNNY baby.
Jack is starting to like playing with Cole more and more these days. Sometimes it's nice things like peek-a-boo and playing with cars and building towers for him. Other times it's squeezing his head super hard or poking him repeatedly.
Outside is Cole's happy place. Even if his mama can't find matching shoes for him.
Let the Kids Dress Themselves. Or something like that. The Motley Crew.
This girl, my little bookworm. She reads at like a 4th or 5th grade level these days. Reads and reads and reads some more.
It seems a little bit silly, but I was shocked how proud I felt when she rode her new big girl bike without training wheels for the first time. She was a little bit nervous, but with the help of her daddy, as soon as she realized she could do it pretty much right away, there was no turning back. She was super proud of herself, full of smiles. She kept looking at me with the biggest smile on her face, me smiling back at her, but on the inside all EYES ON THE ROAD, CHILD! :)
Then a bunch of iphone photos- raining walks to school , check ups with nakey babies taking pictures of big sister.
Someone decided they wanted to be held quite frequently, so we tested out the ergo in the house. :)
Riley got her very first pet- freddy the frog (tadpole)... we'll leave that as a to be continued tale....
And then, things started to take a turn for the worse. It started with Jackson- he gets sick a lot in the winter months, and with his asthma, he usually gets it pretty bad. Well, this winter was no exception.
My littlest buddy!!
Riley would make them all wear these matching pajamas every single night if she could.
Fridays and Saturdays Riley is allowed to stay up late and read until she gets tired. I came in to find her like this.
Doooooo we think someone needs a haircut??
And then, another one bites the dust. The sickness REALLY hit this poor little family, with Cole going down hard. Sickest he's ever been :(
Jack ended up with pneumonia, Cole was miserable for about a week, and yup, you guessed it, Riley was up next. Sorry for all the selfies, Cole wouldn't let me put him down at all so, I get to be in all the photos. Hi!!
Riley was so sick, she would just sit down anywhere and just pass out. Shoes on and all.
This photo pretty much sums it up. ipads for everyone, sitting on a couch missing a cushion that had been vomited on the previous day. Thank goodness we all survived this month!!
Pretty much my favorite month of the year! Christmas crafts, lights, decorations, music, the works!
Our first Christmas in our new home, and we got a BIG tall tree! It took a few tries to get the star right ;)
Coley LOVES the lights and the ornaments. LOVES.
Now most importantly, NANA CAME TO VISIT!! All the way from New Zealand!
We went to see the lights in Alameda, and had lots of fun while Nana was here!
Christmas Eve at grandma's house
"Santa Grandpa" came to visit, as per tradition!
Then Christmas morning came, and Santa stopped by our house!!
We made this awesome sweater for daddy! Definitely saving it for next year (and the year after that)!
Jacky got his first real bike, and Riley got her first two wheel bike! She took it out for one spin with the training wheels on, and after that it was all two wheel riding for her!! So impressed with how quickly she learned!
New Year's Eve! Not quite the late night party that it used to be, but I think the kids made it until 9 or 10?
Cole loves making daddy a coffee. His "drink of choice" before driving us back to our house. :)
Oh yeah and December would not be complete without going to see Santa!!
And yet another holiday card that I designed, ordered, and never sent out. Next year. Promise.