Saturday, December 10, 2011

We Went to Disneyland

In October we took a fairly spontaneous trip to Disneyland. We first took the kids right after Payton turned three and Ella was almost two. OVER TWO YEARS AGO! I love Disneyland and want to go every year, so Jason has done a really good job of putting it off. On our last trip the kids were little so they loved seeing the characters, Toon Town, Dumbo, the Carousel, and the Teacups.

The height requirement that opens up pretty much all the rides is 40 inches. Payton is over that so she could ride almost all the rides. Although Ella is not yet 40 inches she would have gone on every fast ride if she could have. I was happy that she was able to go on the Matterhorn. She loved it and rode it at least six times. The highlight for Payton was her first time on Splash Mountain. The girls both loved the Haunted Mansion (It was decorated so cool for Halloween), Autotopia, and Arial's new ride, which is in California Adventure. They still liked the Jungle Cruise, but this time they knew the animals were not real.

Another highlight of the trip was that our old neighbors happened to be at Disneyland at the same time. Their daughters, Isabella and Sofia, are some of Payton and Ella's best friends. We spent one of our days there with them and the girls had a blast. They actually have a season pass to Disneyland and go all the time, so they taught us about using fast passes!

 The girls posing in front of Sword in the Stone.

 Ella driving!

 Goofy's Garden in Toon Town

 Ready for the submarine ride to start.

 The Halloween decor was awesome!

 Swinging around in the Jungle Tree House.

 It's a small world after all.

 Loving her horse on the Carousel.

The girls wore their princess dresses on our first night there. It was really late when we took this picture. They were literally unconscious in the stroller minutes later. I don't think I've ever seen them quite as tired as they were here. 

Can I say again that I love Disneyland and it is so wonderful to experience it all over again with my kids. We had a great trip and we can't wait to go back. Hopefully Ella will have a big growth spurt this year! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Harvest Fair Fun

One of my favorite Fall kick off activities is the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. We enjoyed a beautiful and warm day there on Sunday. Thank goodness we got out because we are now on our third day of rain. I'm already missing my summer! The Harvest Fair is mainly a wine tasting event, but it also has fun stuff for the kids to do and is an all around celebration of Sonoma County agriculture.

My little farm hands took in the cow milking demo and then tried their hands at milking on this lovely cow that stands very still and doesn't poop! Ella's technique was quite good.

We pet the goats

and searched the straw for plastic eggs.

The girls flew airplanes

and went down the big slide.

We finished the day with a lego building competition.

On the way out we had to stop for a quick look at the huge pumpkins

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

21 Questions with Payton

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
Nice Job.

2. What makes Mommy happy?

3. What make Mommy sad?
When we fight. (with Ella)

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
By telling jokes.

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
I think you liked to play and you liked My Little Pony

6. How old is Mommy?

7. How tall is Mommy?
42 inches.

8. What is Mommy's favorite thing to do?
Read your Kindle.

9. What does Mommy do when you're not around?
Go on the computer.

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
A cheerleader.

11. What is mommy really good at?
Teaching me how to read.

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
Driving Daddy's cars from work.

13. What does Mommy do for her job?
Take care of Claire. (the little girl I babysit)

14. What is Mommy's favorite food?

15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
Because you're smart and the best.

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Like the big bad wolf because of your hair.

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
Go to school. Yeah, we do that everyday.

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
We both have curly hair.

19. How you and Mommy different?
I have blond hair and you have black hair.

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
Because I love you.

21. What is Mommy's favorite place to go?
The gym.

All answers were provided by this fun kid.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The 4th of July

Summer is my favorite time of the year. Since it is swiftly coming  to a close, I thought I would skip back in time a little so I can share our 4th of July celebration. Almost every year we head over to my Aunt Peggy's house for the 4th. The kids love this tradition because there is a pool, they get to hang out with their cousins and we can do our own fireworks there (at our house they aren't legal).

The afternoon started with hours and hours of swimming, which is finally fun for me because both kids can swim on their own this year!

My little daredevil, Payton, loves jumping off the waterfall. It's quite the jump and first you have to go rock climbing to get to the top. If this doesn't wear a kid out I don't know what will!

Ella is quite the fish as well. Although, she only jumps off the rock if Daddy is in the water to catch her. She enjoyed showing off all her swimming lesson activities.

This was a lovely demonstration of the Turtle Float.

The girls are ready to start fireworks. Cathy and I really did not plan on dressing the girls in matching outfits. I guess nothing beats the $4 Target shirts and skirts.

Sparklers seem like a fun idea, but they are really just scary. I have no idea why I buy them every year. Kids waving around a stick of fire is a stressful activity.

Goodbye summer. We can't wait to see you next year.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ella's 4th Birthday Party

I can't believe my baby girl turned 4 this summer. She requested a panda themed party and at the last minute we ended up making it a pool party. She had a panda pinata, birthday banner and cupcakes. I am so sad that I do not seem to have a single picture of the panda cupcakes. They were actually quite easy to decorate, but they came out super cute if I may say so.

We had a nice, small (by our usual standards) party. Ella wanted only girls at her party, which works out well because her cousins are all girls. We also invites a few close friends from our neighborhood and one family from preschool.

Here is the birthday girl warming up in the sun.

Cousin Chloe is such a cute water baby. She is getting so big. We give her all our hand me down clothes, but she is catching up to Ella's size quickly.

Abby, Ella, Taryn, Payton, and Madisen hanging by the pool.

Our neighbor, Sofia, taking a crack at the pinata. Our bat was not the best and that panda was pretty sturdy so all the kids got a good turn.

Look at that swing from Taryn. She plays softball and had no problem getting the job done.

Ella received lots of wonderful gifts. The girls are loving Sand Art and Perler Beads now. She also got a huge makeup set from Grammy and Papa. Ella has been in love with makeup since her dance recital when she got to wear it for the first time. Gymboree just happened to have a panda themed line out just in time for our panda lover's birthday. Of course Nana came through with tons of cute outfits.  

All in all it was a wonderful summer party and I think the birthday girl had a great time. Now if I could just pause her right here because I can't handle her turning 5.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Look Whooo's in Kindergarten

Lots of excited thing have been happening in our family. For one, we moved and are settling in to a new house and after almost a month, we finally have Internet access. YAY! In addition, both Payton and Ella started school. Ella is back for her final year at her wonderful preschool and Payton started kindergarten.

It was a seriously crazy first week of school because Payton was initially assigned to an afternoon class. I felt like I spent those entire five days in the car between pick-ups and drop-offs for the two girls who had opposite schedules. Thank goodness a spot opened up in a morning class and things have been running smoothly ever since.

Payton's kindergarten room.

Ready for her first day!

Just a couple more pictures after we arrived at school. Almost ready to head inside.

Sitting at her desk decorating her name tag. After a few minutes it was, "see you later mom and dad."

Finally it was Ella's turn for her first day!

Ella finished up her last week of summer session at preschool during Payton's first week of kindergarten, then she had to wait a whole two weeks before her first official day of the school year. Although there was a little less fanfare since Ella has been at her preschool for a couple of years now, she was very excited to join Miss Rachel's class. We are looking forward to a great year for both girls.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Honey!

Today is my husband's 34th birthday! We celebrated last night with some family and a bbq. The girls sat on Daddy's lap to sing happy birthday and help him blow out his candle. Auntie Joleane brought cupcake from Sift! Apparently their champagne cupcake won on the show, Cupcake Wars. They were delish and after the big dinner we were all pretty stuffed so we have leftovers. I may have eaten a bite of the red velvet (my fave) for breakfast.

We love you, Daddy, and we hope you have a wonderful birthday. You are loving, hardworking, fun, and we are happy that you're ours.

On a side note, Ella is wearing her Cinderella dress because she was getting married last night. To whom? A boy, of course. What is his name? The Prince! Gotta love little girls. The funny thing is, she has never even watched a Disney princess movie. I guess it's ingrained.