Thursday, July 30, 2009

Feeling hot, hot, HOT!

We have been having record breaking temperatures in our state this week. The problem with Washington is... it doesn't get hot here very frequently so the majority of houses don't have air conditioning. Our house, being in that category, reached temperatures in the 90s during the day! Thank goodness, we have an air-conditioner in our bedroom so Casey can take naps and if needed, we can hang out in there.

My sister and her family came down, so we were able to take them out on our boat for the first time. Watching the cousins together as they skidded along the water in our tube was the best. Jacob kept giving us the "thumbs down" sign to show that he wanted to go slower, but Maddie and Travis couldn't get enough! So I took them on the tube while Uncle Adam curved around faster than I have ever gone before. How is it that I was screaming at the top of my lungs while my niece and nephew were grinning the entire time? They are brave souls.

My dad and stepmom came on the boat with us also. I am always appreciative that my stepmom is willing to hold Casey so I can get a break out on the water!

What else have we been doing to stay cool? One day, we found an area of shade on the lake so we stopped to anchor the boat. It was really nice just to lounge around on our tube and swim in the lake. We were thrilled to see Gavin inch his way to the back of the boat and slowly ease himself onto the tube! Maybe we didn't damage him for life after all. Jacob, who is usually scared to swim in deep water, jumped in the lake and swam all around in his life jacket. Two major feats in one day.

Other than that, we have been hopping around air-conditioned places like the YMCA, Costco, Target... anything that will keep us away from melting in our house. It's supposed to cool down in a few days. I'm definitely ready for it!

Here is Jacob working on his first 500 piece puzzle. He has been asking me buy him one forever and I kept telling him that it was too many pieces. Finally, I decided what the heck. If he really wants to try a 500 piece puzzle, let him try a 500 piece puzzle. He actually got a great start today (with the fan blowing beside him :) so we'll see how many hours it takes. Hey, at least he's entertained, right?

Here is Casey in the same wardrobe he has spent the last several days in. ;)

Monday, July 27, 2009

11 months

Casey turned 11 months this week and is gearing up for cake and ice cream at his first birthday party! Here are the latest things he has been up to.

*His top two front teeth finally just broke through! He got his first bottom two teeth at six months and we've been waiting five months for more teeth. When he was nursing yesterday though, he bit me with all four teeth and I almost cried. Adam had a worried look on his face and said, "So I guess he is officially weaned now, huh?" Pretty much. Thank goodness he can start on whole milk soon!

*We usually only teach our kids a few things to sign... like more, all done, please, and thank you. Casey really caught onto the "more" sign and uses it constantly when he is in his highchair. He claps his little hands together almost the entire time he is eating! More, more, more! He loves table food, especially fruit, pancakes, and bread. He will eat anything though.

*Casey loves to dance and will bop his little head and body to any music or songs that I sing. My favorite part is when he wakes up in the morning. He's so excited to see me that he bounces up and down while clutching onto the top of his crib. So I immediately start dancing too... which makes him crack up and dance all the harder.

*He is not standing or walking yet. He has been pulling himself up for several months and can easily walk across the room with a walker or our fingers. The second you let go though, he immediately squats down. He has this little mischievous smile that lets you know he doesn't want to do that yet. If he's like Gavin, it won't be anytime soon either. ;)

*Casey is definitely a routine baby. He naps at the exact same times everyday, so we're really messing him up when we go out on the boat. Yesterday, he was hardly able to sleep at all, so this morning he made up for it by taking a 3 and 1/2 hour nap. That is a record for sure!

*Everywhere we go, people are saying he looks more like Gavin lately. I really thought he looked like Gavin when he was first born, then a few months later he looked more like Jacob to me. He does have big eyes like Gavin though. It's fun to hear what people think!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Our Disneyland vacation

Seeing Disneyland through the eyes of our children was priceless. It made getting through security, hauling all of the car seats in order to buckle them into our rental car, driving through LA traffic, spraying our kiddos with water to keep them cool, trying to get everyone asleep in one hotel room, having them all wake up early no matter how late we went to bed, taking turns on rides so Casey could sleep in the stroller, barely making it home on stand-by... all worth it. When you get home, all of that craziness melts away and all you are left with is those precious, unforgettable memories.

As I mentioned before, we weren't planning on going to Disneyland... but I couldn't be more grateful that we went. The fact that Gavin was exactly Jacob's age and Casey was exactly Gavin's age when we went last really made it special. I had all of these memories of what Jacob was like at age 3 in Disneyland, so it was fun to see how Gavin reacted to everything in comparison.

We loved staying at the Howard Johnson last time and when we found out they had a new pirate-themed waterpark, we were sold. They boys anxiously pulled on their swimsuits as soon as we got there to try it out. It had an area for Casey to crawl around in, a shallow pool for Gavin and Jacob to swim in, and a variety of different waterslides. Just like in Legoland, once the giant bucket on top filled with water, it poured on top of everybody.

One of the things I learned is to never, ever take your 3 year-old on Pirates of the Caribbean. ;) Jacob was frightened and crying through the entire ride two years ago, as was Gavin this time. Thankfully, there were some really friendly teenagers in front of us who encouraged him through the entire ride. They kept telling him how brave he was and pointed out all of the sparkling treasures and cute dogs in order to distract him.

After that, we decided to head to Fantasyland for some non-scary, fun little kid rides. It was dark by this time and we could virtually walk onto any ride. Gavin got his first taste of the Dumbo ride, which was Jacob's favorite at his age. I also took the boys on the Casey Jr. train, which is such a cute ride and has always been one of my favorites.

Then Adam spun them around on the tea cups.

One of my favorite memories was running into Mickey Mouse on our way back to the hotel. The boys couldn't be more excited to run into the star of their favorite show. The only thing Jacob couldn't figure out was why he didn't talk! Gavin was completely starstruck and after giving him a hug and taking a picture, he seemed to freeze in time. We called his name and he slowly walked backwards, not taking his eyes away from Mickey for a second. It was adorable.

California Adventure

We spent all of our time at California Adventure the next day. The boys loved it there because of all of the characters and rides from their favorite movies like Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Cars, and A Bug's Life.

We immediately got in line for their newest ride, Toy Story Mania(after hearing the wait time can get super long). Especially with Gavin's obsession with Buzz Lightyear, he was so excited! Each person gets a pull-string gun, tries to shoot at targets, and gets as many points as they can. With Casey, I wasn't able to shoot very accurately, but Gavin was really getting the hang of it by the end!

Since Casey was awake, we went on the swinging ferris wheel together. He loved holding onto the screen and looking out at the view! We also took Casey on his first carousel ride.

We got a fast pass for Soarin', which is my all-time favorite ride. I especially loved taking Gavin on it for the first time, then we got a child swap pass so Adam could take Jacob.

It was pretty hot that afternoon, so we took a break in our air-conditioned hotel room. Adam and Casey stayed to take a nap while I took Jacob and Gavin to the Pixar parade. They loved seeing the characters from Cars (they had taken pictures with them earlier), A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., and especially Toy Story. I think Woody, Jessie, and Buzz reminded Gavin of Toy Story Mania, so he convinced me to go back for a second round.

Then we met up with Adam and Casey for dinner and the electrical parade. The electrical parade is my all-time favorite part of Disneyland. If I had only one thing I could pick out of everything, that would definitely be it. We found a spot right up front and shared some kettle corn together while we waited for the parade to begin. I can't even describe what a joy it was to see my kids with their Mickey Mouse ears, waving their flashing necklace and dancing to the music. Gavin completely lit up as he watched the musical light parade pass by only inches away. I just wanted to freeze time in that moment forever.

I love these pictures of us watching the fireworks with almost all of California Adventure to ourselves. (We didn't realize it was closed yet ;)
After the parade, we headed back to Disneyland. Casey was awake and in the best mood so we wanted to take everyone on It's a Small World. This ended up being another favorite memory for sure. Jacob softly sang along with the music the entire ride, while Casey stood up on the seat and danced. As if it's not cute enough watching a baby dance... but being in this ride with Jacob singing in the background made it even more adorable. Can somebody please freeze time again?

We had to try the new Nemo submarine ride before taking the boys back to the hotel. The boys loved peering through the giant windows to watch the underwater scene. The whole concept was cool, but I could really see someone who is claustrophobic having a difficult time!

Goodbye Disneyland, Hello Long Beach!

The next morning, we headed back to California Adventure. Jacob and Gavin shared their frozen lemonades while Daddy went on the roller coaster.

Gavin was exactly 42", so I was able to take him on the Grizzly River Ride. It was perfect for a really hot afternoon, keeping us drenched and cool for a long time.

We watched the 3-D Bug Life movie, but Jacob refused to put on the glasses because he didn't want the bugs coming out at him. ;) Then we took turns with Jacob and Gavin on the bumper cars and Splash Mountain.

Daddy really wanted to stop and get another fresh tortilla, which Casey was a big fan of also.
We saw Pluto on our way out, but Gavin wasn't so sure about him.
He decided to give him a hug goodbye though.
When we told Jacob he had to say goodbye to Disneyland, he was super distraught. I was sad too so we hugged really tight and I told him we would come back when he was 7. To which, of course, he pleaded his case for 6.

After letting the boys go on the pirate waterslides one last time, we were off to Long Beach. It was beautiful there and fun to see the place Adam had described in person. We had a nice dinner and walked along the pier with caramel apples and chocolate.

We arrived at the airport the next day just in time to discover that all of the flights were full. ;) Fortunately, God was looking out for us because not only did we make it on a flight, but we all got to sit together as well. Phew! I thought it was so funny that Gavin picked up the airline magazine and was looking through the pages with such sophistication. We might have another pilot on our hands!