Monday, June 28, 2010

Animal Pancakes

I recently got these farm animal pancake molds from William Sonoma. We've tried creatively pouring the batter to make things in the past, but I figured a little assistance couldn't hurt. The kids were excited about the new animal shapes, and Chris was excited about the recipe that came with them for Buttermilk Pancakes from scratch! A win-win situation! This morning was the first chance we got to try them out!
Clara wanted a chicken pancake first.

Jonathan chose the cow


Then Clara had a pig and Jonathan ate a chicken. They were a BIG hit, both the molds and the recipe!

Los Angeles - Girls' Weekend

This past weekend I went to L.A. for the first time. I mean we've obviously driven through there a number of times, but this time I stopped to do all the touristy things I've been wanting to do. The best part, it was a girls' weekend. We tried to get a group of girls to go, but as time got closer, everyone's summer plans started getting in the way, so it was just my friend Courtney and I. Still, we had a great time, and it was so nice to get away.
Friday night after checking into our hotel, we foolishly headed down to Hollywood Blvd. Any local will tell you this wasn't a wise move, but how were we to know that Hollywood Blvd isn't exaclty the best part of town? After sitting in traffic for about an hour to go less than a mile, we finally found parking. We bypassed a garage that said 'Parking $8' only to go around the corner and find a parking garage for $5. When we walked out of the parking garage, we found that they were one in the same. It only mattered what side you went in on, whether you saved $3 or not! Then we started the trek down this alley of a street about a block or two, to Hollywood Blvd, where we strangely felt safer. Already, we were soooo glad not to have all of our kids in tow for this vacation.

Still, the mom in me couldn't help but take a picture of Dr. Seuss' star on the Walk of Fame.

Grommans' Chinese Theater

John Travolta wuz here!

So was George Burns...

...and Cary Grant

and George Clooney

Me at Grommans' Chinese Theater. It's odd to me that they would choose one of the worst parts of town to honor these famous people....I wonder if they move all the drug addicts when George Clooney comes through :)

Only in Hollywood.

After walking around a while, we were starving. The smell of pizza caught our attention. Check out how big the slices were!

Saturday, we were up for finding a better part of town. Where would be better than Rodeo Drive?!

The stores on Rodeo

Courtney and I on Rodeo

Even the parking meters take plastic here!

Cort and I in Beverly Hills!

We found the best cupcake shop just off Rodeo Drive called 'Crumbs' I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the cupcakes...I must've been too busy eating them!

Awesome tree in the park.

Once we got tired of walking around Beverly Hills and feeling poor, we heading to Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Pier

Me on the Pier

This thing made me think of the movie 'Big', so I had to take a picture of it.

Before leaving on Sunday we HAD to get a picture of the Hollywood sign! We had a great time, and were definitely glad to get the chance to see these things without the kids. Between the traffic, lack of bathrooms, strange people and street performers, and the fact that the kids could've cared less about most of it...but at least now, I can say I've seen it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pool Time

I just got Matthew his own pool. Typically in the evenings, I set up the Slip 'N' Slide for Clara and Jonathan. Matthew wants so badly to play with them, but when I do let him crawl out to the Slip 'N' Slide, he starts crying once he feels how cold the water is coming from the hose. So I figured getting him his own pool would satisfy him.
It's just big enough for him. Clara and Jonathan were both very concerned that I had gotten him a 'girl pool' since it's pink. It's all they talked about today while Matthew played in it, but it was the only kind they had at the Exchange, and who am I to argue for $5.00!

Matthew didn't seem to mind!

He loved playing with his boat.

He hooked something!

Too Cute!

It didn't take him long to figure out how to get out of the pool...

...and how to get back in!

Just Restin'

However, it still didn't keep him from that Slip 'N' Slide!

It was a little cold at first...

Determined to conquer it, he began crawling down...

He made it to the end - Just like the big kids!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bear Crawl

Matthew still relies on the army crawl to get himself around. He has perfected it, and is sooo quick at his army crawl...until you put him in the grass.
I guess he's not so keen on the itchy grass, so it's the only place he'll either pick himself up on his hands and knees...

(Such a big guy!)

...Or he'll break out into a bear crawl, on hands and feet. It's hard to see in these pictures, but it's the cutest thing to watch him try and balance up on his hands and feet to get across the grass!

Matthew Bear!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day Chris!!!!

Simply put...all kids should be as lucky as ours to have a dad as awesome as Chris!
Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Swim Lessons

The kids just finished their first session of swim lessons for the summer and they did great! They have both improved so much since last year. Jonathan is now old enough to be in a class rather than private lessons, and for this first session, both Clara and Jonathan were in the same class.
Sitting on the steps, waiting for their turn to show us all they learned. Perhaps the most exciting thing is that this is the first summer since we've been in CA that Chris has been home. So it was Chris' first time to be able to come watch on the last days of lessons and the kids were so excited!
Clara's Swim Lessons

This year both kids had Mr. Ryan for a teacher. He was great with the kids.

Clara has gotten so much better. She's starting to keep her bottom in line with the rest of her body when she's swimming. Next is learning how to take breaths and keep swimming!

Practicing her Back Float

Kicking on her back. She still needs some work on learning to relax on her back so that she can keep her bottom up in line with the rest of her body.

Jumping in from the side


There's Clara swimming on her own back to the steps. She can swim as far as her first breath takes her!

Jumping off the diving board.

After the first observation day!

Getting ready to swim back to the steps

Practicing that back float again

Jumping from the side in the shallow end

Off the side where it's slightly deeper

Off the diving board
Clara will be moving up to the next class for her next session in a couple weeks. They'll begin to work with her on what to do after she runs out of air from that first breath and also work on swimming on her back. She has to be competent in both of those before she can move into the deep end.

Jonathan's Swim Lessons

After the second day of swim lessons I took Jonathan to the doctor only to find out he had swimmer's ear. UGH! The doctor advised that I keep him out of the water. Lessons are only 30 minutes a day Monday through Friday for 2 weeks and there's about 6 kids in the class. So Jonathan's ears were not in the water too long, so for once I didn't listen to the doctor. I kept him in swim lessons, but put alcohol drops in his ear directly after lessons each day. I put an ear plug in the unaffected ear and once the medicated drops made his right ear better, we kept an ear plug in that ear as well. His ears are all better now, but the doctor advises ear plugs and alcohol drops for the remainder of the summer. Jonathan is on board as long as it means he can still swim!

Swimming back to the steps

Each time it was Jonathan's turn to swim with Mr. Ryan, Jonathan made it his mission to make Mr. Ryan smile...

...As you can see, Jonathan was very successful!

Back float

Kicking on his back

Ready to jump into the shallow end

Swimming to Mr. Ryan

Clara consoled Jonathan after he swallowed a little water

After the first observation day

Kicking on his back

It was Jonathan's turn to jump in the shallow end, but he had a little unexpected help from the kid behind him (check out his face). The kid behind him was constantly pushing and shoving other kids into the pool, and his mother thought it was funny. The day before, another child's mother almost had to jump in when that same kid shoved him in from the steps. Mr. Ryan was demonstrating with another child and missed the ordeal that time, but from then on, they had a secondary teacher standing by just in case. Chris and I found it frustrating that the mother wasn't more active in trying to stop her child!

Jumping from the side where it's slightly deeper

Jumping off the diving board

Jonathan did great! Mr. Ryan said Jonathan's already figuring out how to keep his bottom in line with the rest of his body too. He still needs more work with actually making productive strokes and kicks, but he's well on his way!

The kids have one more session of swim lessons in 2 weeks, I can't wait to see how much more they'll improve!