Monday, December 15, 2014

Wacky Hair Day


Near the end of Alden's pre-school year, the Mission Hills Community Pre-School hosted a Wacky Hair Day to get some school spirit rising. It worked!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

He Won't Always Do This

Alden has always slept in our bed. It's easier and we all seemed a lot happier for it on long nights. It hasn't ALWAYS been easy so, on these days where he is so blissed out and snoozing well into the morning, I have to remember that he won't always do this. He won't always want to sneak in and hog my pillow and flip around in sweaty circles trying to get comfortable. In preparation for the day that our second child arrives, I already miss the the approximate 1,500 nights we've shared the big bed together..

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Big Bear - Round One

Picture it: Memorial Day weekend and Dustin IS NOT working a wedding!!! Holy cow! We got out of town as fast as we could before anyone decided to book him last minute. So we headed up to Big Bear, California where we could pretend we were in Oregon or Montana for a few days. 
Alden loves anything that Dustin is doing and I think it is mostly because they like to spend time together. But the fishing thing seems to run deeper than that. Alden stood on that dock for well over 3 hours to fish along side his dad. I was impressed. I had brought games and books to occupy him but ended up getting to read in the sun while those two caught some good ones.

We stayed the night in a huge rental house that we got for a deal since we were spontaneous and hadn't booked a cabin 6 months in advance. The whole home could have slept 10 people in it's spacious 2 floors but, instead, it slept 3 (and one more growing) in the master bed. It was so nice to get away and see the mountains and get some perspective on city life. We are certainly more country folk than we have known before.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mother's Day

Alden seems to have a real empathetic nature. He anticipates what a person may like to have on a special day and is determined to get it for them. He and Dustin went out on Sunday to gather up balloons, flowers, and candy for me since they had forced me (out of pure excitement on their part) to open my mother's day gifts the day before. Alden made me breakfast with a banana, carrots, juice box - the mermaid kind because I'm a lady - and Dots for dessert.
We then spent the rest of the day in the sun on a beach in La Jolla. Resting, relaxing, playing, napping. At this point, Dustin and I were the only ones who know that we are pregnant so it was sweet to know that I was going to be mother all over again in December and have it be our little secret.
Dustin continues to be a great role model for Alden as he teaches him how to treat people that we love and especially how to treat a lady. I am very lucky and grateful for these two guys. They remind me how to accept love, too!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


It takes a LOT to get Alden down and, in the beginning of April, we saw just how much he could take. While performing a small stunt (after jumping from the back of the couch onto Dustin to hug him hello), Alden jumped from D's arms onto the couch and then onto me who was laying on the couch. He shot past the target and slammed his face on the the low window ledge in the living. After lots of blood loss, even more screaming, and some fainting (me), we took him to the E.R. where he received 3 stitches in and under his nose. That was a brutal process and one that has now instilled a phobia about needles... especially needles that are entering stage left at a rapid pace and INTO the nose of a 4 year old. He was wrapped in a hospital papoose (think straight jacket connected to a flat board) so that he wouldn't move. Dustin held his head while I held his feet. It is AWFUL to hear him scream, "Get me outta here! I want this done. I'm done. Mama, help me!" I still tear up thinking about it. I felt the need to explain why Alden has some markings on his otherwise flawless face. And now, at the end of the month in April, he is over it and has moved on.
The Easter Bunny totally gets it. He brings some great baskets, leaves the eggs, and gets out of town. I don't know why the Easter Bunny is allowed to come into our house and Santa still has to deliver the goods on the porch like a common mailman.
This year, the Easter Bunny left some prints around our home showing where he visited and giving some clues to where some eggs where. That was helpful to find 17 of the eggs but we were shy one for about a week after the hunt. Finally found it behind the second bathroom toilet. Whew. That could have gotten a lot stinkier before it got better.

Spring Break

There are many benefits of living in the full-on sunshine state but one of them is that you don't have to travel far for a vacation. During the first week of April, Alden was on Spring Break for the whole week. Since I work from home, this can be a bit of a scheduling dilemma since juggling 30 hours while caring for and keeping interested a 4 year old takes more than that.
Dustin took a few days off from work to be with Alden. They did a series of "Man Dates" which consist of park visits, zoo visits, another Midway Museum visit, haircuts at a legit barber shop, etc. We also managed to all break away to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It was a great deal more interactive than the zoo that we'd had passes for for the entire year. It was a great way to spend the day!

Then there is this... the surfing! These two really enjoy the water together and, up until recently, have had no reason to no be on the board together. Alden got a little spooked later in the summer when he tumbled off the board and went under for a bit. He said he'll get back into surfing when he's older... like seven or so. Fair enough.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Peacock Waffle

Alden continues to like birds. A lot. For forever.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Midway = Big Day

During the last few days of March, while my mom was visiting, we took Alden out of preschool one day to visit the Midway Museum . We were there ALL day. There are floors to see and flight decks to check and cubbies and curiosities that just keep going and bending around every turn.
Of course, San Diego can't do anything without offering a ride or some simulated sort of creation. We did by pass those since there were so many other hands-on things to discover.

If you have children or older generation men (grandpas) take them here for the day. It was easy, fun, and super informative. I got claustrophobic and panicky just imagining pulling away from port for months at a time knowing that, below that deck, was going to be my home, work, and rest for a significant amount of time. I was relieved to know that even this tight system has a brig to toss the bad eggs for a bit. This environment is NOT for the weak.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ranunculus Fields Forever

Dustin earned some powerful son-in-law points for suggesting that we all go an visit the ranunculus fields in Carlsbad when my mom was visiting for her third trip to San Diego. What better way to spend a Sunday than to visit these magnificent fields that go on for days? I'm not much of a gardener but I can appreciate the beauty in these. 
It was great to be on the tractor ride with my mom and ask, "What's your favorite flower, mom?" and hear, "The ranunculus!!!" That's fitting.
Look at the precision and order for each color. I was in color coding heaven.
There is a maze on site and a children flag/mapping hunt amongst other fun things but we were mostly busy just looking and looking at all of the colors. I don't have a great photo of my mom (or one that she would approve of) to share here but she was there. She was happy and adorable in her white, canvas sunhat.


This butterfly habitat is one of the gifts that Alden got from Grandma Cyndy at Christmas time. We waited until the weather was little more fair to send away for the mail order caterpillars. Once the arrived we followed the steps of letting them roam about for a few days, watched them form into a chrysalis, harden, be motionless, then start to emerge. It was fascinating and a little gross. Those caterpillars were timely, too. On the day the booklet suggested they may or may not do something, they would do it and not a moment too soon.  I was impressed. For the photo above, you can tell that Alden was also.

Julian, California - Third Trips a Charm

Last summer, just a few months after being in San Diego, we were hankerin' for some old time, western vibe, green pine trees and hills kinda day. We checked out the surrounding areas of southern California and took a chance on Julian. It's about a 75 minute drive east where it gets very hot, very hilly, and a little more country. We loved it and vowed to return. In late November when my sister, Bekki, was visiting we took another trip out for a Christmas tree lighting and small town festival. It was down right quaint. With the orange glow of the sun setting on us all, we watched the little town celebrate with huge heart. We loved it and vowed to return. Now, in February of 2014, we returned for a rare 2 day weekend for Dustin. That means that he didn't have to work all week in the traditional time frame and then shoot 2 weddings on Saturday and Sunday. We got out of town before anyone changed their mind. 
We booked a little cottage bed and breakfast and drove IN THE SNOW to Julien. We we so excited and felt almost Oregonian again.
A claw foot tub with a red head playing with a rubber ducky? Priceless.
On the way out of town on Sunday, we stopped at Lake Cuyamaca where we rented a boat and proceeded to fish on what seemed to be the coldest day of the new year. We all played along for a long while until Alden's fingers threatened to fall off like shattered glass.
But we loved it and vow to visit again.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Costumes Continued

Sometimes words just get in the way. I'm going to let you figures all of this costume display out for yourselves.