Sunday, October 9, 2016

Summer Vacation {Planes, Trains and Automobiles}

Sydney's school closes for a 2 week summer break, so we decided to take a road trip up to Bend, Oregon to visit some friends, then head over to Portland to stay with my parents.  The plan was to all drive up, then Brian would drive home to get back to work, and I would stay with the kids a few more days and fly home with them. 

My best "mom win" of the trip - Sydney's snack pack
She loved this and it provided hours entertainment and food
We gave ourselves 2 days to get to Bend.  Without stopping, it's an 8 hour drive.  We went into day 1 hoping to get to Kalamath Falls (6 hours without stops) but with the expectations we may only make it to Redding (3 hours without stopping).   It took us 7.5 hours but we ended up making it to Kalamath Falls.  The kids were troopers.  We stopped for a coffee break around Redding, we stopped when Sydney got car sick just north of Shasta, and for dinner in Weed.  Day 2, we woke up feeling refreshed and decided to take a detour to Crater Lake.  We literally debated if we should do it until seconds before the turn off.   It was definitely a detour for us, not the kids.  It added 45 minutes onto the drive, but it was beautiful and I was so happy to finally see Crater Lake.  It's on the list of places to go back to someday so we can spend more time there, camping and exploring, it's stunning.

At Crater Lake
We spent a few days in Bend with our friends the McGuire's checking out some breweries, some parks, and popping around downtown.  Our first day, we had the most amazing breakfast at McKay Cottage before spending the morning letting the kids splash in the river at Tumalo Park. It was beautiful and fun.  A perfect way to spend our first day in Oregon. 

Deschutes River at Tumalo State Park
After a few days, we loaded up the car and hit the road for MarMe and Grandpa Billy's house.  It was finally a bit of a vacation for Brian and I as grandparents are always excited to focus on the kids, and babysit so we could sneak away for dinner and drinks.
Brian took Sydney to the coffee shop one morning and they gave her a water in a to-go coffee cup
She thought it was so cool. Now, whenever we go to coffee, she wants her own "coffee"
Sydney had SO much fun with all the toys and games my parents have in Portland.  She was obsessed with the playhouse in their backyard and spent hours with MarMe, "cleaning" and making "phone calls" from the old rotary phone.  She was also really into a huge Annie doll that my mom made for me and my sister when we were little.  She dressed up like Annie, she played hide-and-seek with Annie and had to have Annie sleep in the bed next to her. 

Every night after dinner, she would go on a walk with Grandpa Billy.  She always came home with a few things they found along the way - flowers, pinecones, string beans, it was the cutest thing.
After dinner walk with Grandpa Billy
One morning we went to the Oregon Zoo.  Sydney is finally old enough to get excited about the animals.  I think her favorite were the seals swimming underwater.  After a few hours, she was so worn out,  she was a zombie just sitting in her stroller staring blankly at the animals.  Another morning, my mom and I took the kids to the Children's Museum in Portland.  We kind of rushed her through so we could see all the exhibits, but I have to say her favorite part was the piano out front. 

We were able to catch up with a lot of friends and their kids, which is becoming more chaotic, and more fun, as everyone's family grows. We met a handful of new babies, and some friends were even lucky enough to catch Charlie awake.
At the Zoo
Being at your grandparents house, you always get spoiled.  Sydney got to experience this for the first time this trip.  We went to Frozen Yogurt twice, she snacked on graham cracker bunnies nearly everyday, she baked her own blueberry pie with MarMe, and I even let her put a little whip cream on top of her berries a few times.
Spoiled by MarMe - Mama would never give her a bite that big
Everyone was nervous for me to fly home with the kids by myself, except me.  I figured if it was horrible, it was only a 1.5 hour flight and that people would be more sympathetic because I was on my own.  Plus it had to be easier than all the time we spent in the car.

Leading up to the flight, Sydney and I read an Airport book. She was so excited.  She has been on many flights, but this was the first one that she was old enough to understand what was going on.  We were looking out the window at the gate when our plane rolled up. She was so excited, she kept saying "Sydney's plane. That's Sydney's plane.  Mama, that's Sydney's plane".  Both kids were perfect in the airport and on the flight, it was super easy.  I even made it to the bathroom for myself and changed Sydney's diaper in flight.  I had a feeling by the time I made it all the way to the front of the plane, someone would offer to hold Charlie, and I was right. 

If you ask Sydney what she did on the plane, she will say "I put on my seatbelt".  Charlie's friend Nathan, and his mama Danielle, picked us up from the airport.  It was such a treat. She packed a snack bag and stickers for Sydney, which was so thoughtful.  Both kids fell asleep on the drive home, Sydney with one hand in the snack bag.
through security, heading to get a coffee
Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip:

Brian and the kids at Crater Lake
Charlie at Crater Lake
Checking out the view
The most amazing brewery in Bend
Sydney and Tyler having a blast at Tumalo State Park
"Big Splash" as Andy throws a big rock into the water
Watching elephants with MarMe

Walking around downtown Bend
Charlie's first time facing forward
Downtown Bend
Feeding the ducks leftover bread from our picnic lunch
Another day, another brewery in Bend
Sydney loved 10 Barrel
fascinated by the seals at the Portland Zoo
The playhouse
Cooking in the playhouse
Having so much fun at MarMe and Grandpa Billy's
Baking her very own, teeny tiny, blueberry pie
ready to eat
Sydney had so much fun playing in the fountain downtown Portland
We had to drag her out
Bedtime stories with Dada and Annie

Matching Annie
Jumping on couches with "Dell"
We have a video of them jumping and Sydney watches it over and over again
Park date with Mama's friend
I love how he is lounging in the tub
MarMe and Charlie
This kid likes to stand
Grandpa Billy and MarMe
and one with just Charlie

someday I will miss this
but Charlie took way too many naps like this on our trip
playing in the grocery store at the Children's Museum
Intense piano playing
another trip to FroYo
Here we go! On the plane
Quick snooze and snack
Passed out on the drive home from the airport
We had a great time on our trip and it was so nice to catch up with friends and family.  As fun as it is to go away, it's always nice to get home and get back into routine.  We are already looking forward to our next family adventure.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Charlie {month 5}

Charlie turned 5 months today.  It's crazy to look back at photos and see how much he has grown.  He still is a very happy, smiley and giggly baby and we just love him to pieces.

Charlie 5 months old
We started this month in Portland at the end of our vacation, and ended it back home in California.  This month marked a few very exciting firsts for Charlie.  His first plane ride, first time in the highchair, and first time in the jumper. 

A whole new world sitting at the table
Other big milestones for him are I took him off Zantac, his reflux medication, and we transitioned him to sleep in a sleep sack.  Speaking of sleep, he is still not great at it, but we've made progress in the self soothing department which is helping us get him down at night.

Charlie is grabbing things much more purposefully now and, of course, everything goes straight to his mouth.  He is sucking on his hands and fingers more too.  We started working on sitting with support, I think he will be really happy when he can sit by himself and watch Sydney run around.  He is holding himself high on his hands and is trying hard to figure out how to scoot, so far unsuccessfully.  He has always liked to stand on my lap or on the floor, and is now starting to jump in this position.
One of my favorite moments from the month was just the other night. Sydney, Charlie and I were all in Sydney's room.  She was jumping around (literally), and Charlie was cracking up at her.  It melted my heart and I wanted to get it on video but I didn't have my phone.  I knew it would ruin the moment if I got up and left, so I let it go.  Sydney loved it.  She kept jumping, turning back to look at Charlie, and kept jumping and laughing too.  I love that she gets a big kick out of Charlie.  Whether it's his coos, his smiles, his giggles, and especially his toots and burps, he makes her laugh and a lot.

Here are some of my favorite photos this month:
Playing at the park in Portland
lounging in the tub
big smiles for MarMe
Charlie loves standing
Happy Grandparents
Big smiles
Through security, ready for his first flight
Happy traveler on his first plane ride
Dada got matching shirts from one of his clients for the kids
Sydney was SO excited about when they both wore their "Octo-Kitty" shirts
Flying Charlie
Flying Baby
Kisses for Charlie
Sydney always touches Charlie's nose and says "Beep"
Then tickles his toes
Oh, hi
Chewing on his favorite elephant
It's nearly impossible to get everyone looking an smiling
This is cool
modeling Sydney's Halloween wig - hahahaha

with cousin Nate

always smiling
pre-work cuddle with Dada on Charlie's 5 month birthday
5 month side by side with Sydney

The countdown is on for me.  One week to go until I go back to work.  We've done a few trial days at his daycare and it's gone really well.  I picked up Sydney before him on the most recent trial day and the first thing she said to me when I saw her was, "Where's Charlie?".  As always, we can't wait to see what the next month brings.