Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Snow Day

It does not snow where we live and we've been feeling bad that the kids have been asking to visit the snow all winter. So we took a trip to the snow in April. Better late than never, right? We spent the night at Jason's brother's house the night before, which put us an hour closer to the snow. We got up early that morning and headed out.

Jason had already signed up the girls for an all day ski class that was scheduled to begin at 9:00 am. When I heard this (via an email from my husband), I knew that there would be trouble. Since my kids only see snow about once a year, I knew that they would get there and probably just want to play. Their idea of fun in the snow is making  snowmen, snow angels, and snowballs! Also, let's face it, skiing is hard and tiring and I'll be the first to admit that my kids may not be the toughest kids around. They probably get this from me. I don't like the snow. It's cold and wet and I don't like having to get all bundled up. That's why I live in California, where a light jacket is the most you will ever need.

We arrived and checked them in to class. Ella and her cousin, Abby, went with the instructor, but Payton freaked out and decided she didn't want to go. We took a little walk, and eventually, she agreed to give it a try. When we returned, she wanted me to walk her down to the play area so she could decide whether she wanted to stay, but they wouldn't let me go down with her. I found this completely ridiculous. I mean, what parent is going to drop their child off somewhere that they are not allowed to see. Finally, I had to agree to wait by the door while Payon and one of the instructors walked down to the play area, then she would come back to the door to tell me if was staying. Thankfully, she decided to stay and I was able to go over to the outdoor area where I could watch the kids ski.

This part was seriously comical. Ella spent the majority of the time sitting on the ground eating snow. She probably went down the tiny hill twice and then went back inside. She obviously did not have too much interest in learning to ski.

Since Payton took one ski lesson last year they put her in a green vest. This turned out to be a serious problem. The instructors didn't evaluate the skills of the kids at all. Since Payton was in a green vest she had to go up to the higher hill, which was obviously too hard for her. She started to go down twice and fell. Instead of putting her with the other beginners, they just took her back inside and called me to come get her.

Within about 10 minutes of picking up Payton, I got another call that Ella no longer wanted to ski and I needed to come pick her up as well. I guess this turned out to be the most fun part of the day for the kids. I was able to find an area for them to play in the parking lot.

We had fun for all of 20 minutes until Payton's feet got soaked because she was no longer in the ski boots. At this point, Jason was off snowboarding, so I ended up stuck sitting in the car with two crying kids who were getting hungry for lunch. The employee that was there when I picked up the girls from ski class had told me that we could come back at lunch time since their class was supposed to include lunch. I think he felt bad for me, so he also said that Payton could try skiing again after lunch and we could get her put in the correct level. Long story short, we went back and this employee was no longer there. They said their policy was not to allow kids to come back to class once they've been picked up. Payton started crying all over again when they would not let her come back and to top it off, the conversation between Jason and the guy working there was getting pretty heated. I had to take the kids outside, and after all this, our snow day was pretty much over.

I was done at this point. There was nothing left for the kids to do if they were not going to be allowed back in the ski class. We were all wet and cold, so we drove home. It was definitely not our best family trip by a long shot.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Six Flags

We had Payton's birthday party the weekend before her birthday, so on her actual birthday we took a family trip to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. This place is a very short drive from our house and the kids love it. For the last couple years we've bought the season passes and I take the kids many times during the summer. It closes for the winter and for months, Payton has been asking when we can go back, so I thought it would be perfect for her birthday. Luckily, it just reopened daily for spring break!

One of her favorite things to do is feed these birds. She isn't afraid at all and wants as many birds as possible to land on her!

I didn't get a very good picture of Ella on the Airplane, but I had to include one anyway. She has been waiting for years to ride this ride, but the height minium is 36 inches. I not sure she is quite 36 inched yet, but the operator let her on and she was soooo excited! I always feel bad for her when I see kids riding that are obviously much younger than her, but she can't ride because she is so small for her age.

This is the walrus that was in the movie, 50 First Dates. It honestly seems very friendly and interacts a lot with the visitors. It was clapping it's fins together. It is seriously a huge animal and both cute and ugly at the same time. Ella is showing him her little plastic lizard.

The tigers are one of Ella's favorites. They have a show that we didn't catch this time, but definitely will next visit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Payton's Birthday Party

Payton had a My Little Pony themed party. She invited her whole class, a few additional friends, and lots of family member. I was a little stressed when the RSVPs started pouring in. Almost every single person came! She was beyond excited for this party. From the day we sent out the invitations she was counting down the days until her party.

We rented a bounce house for the backyard and luckily the weather was beautiful, so most of the party was held outside. Everything pretty much ran smoothly. I did forget to buy candles and realized it a little while before cake time. My neighbor tried to find some for me and ended up bringing a "4" candle. I would never have lived that one down. Thankfully, my mom ran out and got a more appropriate "5." The party was definitely a success and Payton was absolutely thrilled!

A pre-party kiss for my birthday girl!

Payton and her Pinkie Pie Pinata.

Jump and Slide!

Pulling the strings on the pinata. At least we didn't try to break it open the old fashioned way with this many kids. 

Now that's a pile of presents.

Rainbow Dash cake.

Our attempt at a family picture before we light the candle.

Last but not least, a frosting licking little sister!

My Dad is our official event photographer. I always feel bad, but I really never have time to take my own pictures when I'm running around hosting a party. Lots of his other photography and my Mom's work can be found at their website http://shadesoflilly.com/

Saturday, April 16, 2011

To My First Born on her Birthday

Dear Payton,

Five years ago today, on the best day of my life, you made me a mom. To this day, I am so proud to be your mom and I have loved every minute I've spent watching you learn, grow, and become the person you are now.

At five years old, you have an amazing enthusiasm and joy for life. You love numbers, counting anything and everything, and telling me how many days, hours, or minutes until some upcoming event. You enjoy playing games, doing puzzles, and creating things out of whatever materials you can find. Your latest castle of plastic cups, paper plates and saran wrap was pretty amazing! You still love dinosaurs, reptiles, and lots of other creepy crawly creatures that I could do without. You enjoy drawing and are beginning to shine as my little artist. I think your drawings are quite exceptional and realistic for your age,

Last summer we put you in swimming lessons with not much hope because you were adamant about not wanting to learn to swim and you told me that you would never put your face underwater. By the end of the summer, you did learn to swim. This spring you have really blossomed into a full on fish. You love to swim and jump right in! You recently moved up to the second level in swimming lessons and I'm very proud that you conquered your fears of the water and have found another activity that you love.

In school, at the park, or almost anywhere we go, you can find a friend and have a great time. You love school and interacting with your peers. Missing one day of preschool, when you were sick, was absolutely devastating to you. I'm  feeling a little sad that we are just a few short months away from the start of kindergarten. I know you are very ready for kindergarten. I have no doubt that you will excel and continue to love school, but it will be hard for me to send my first baby off to school five day a week! I will miss the freedom we have had to go on adventures, get together with friends, or just have a lazy day at home.

I am also very amazed at how much you have matured emotionally. Recently, I have seen your sympathy for others, including your sister, really grow. You are sharing better, you strive to problem solve and work out conflict, and you want others to be happy. Seeing this really pleases me, because more than anything, I want you to grow up to be a kind and loving person.

Payton, I can't wait to experience more milestones with you. You are a beautiful, talented and unique person. From the day you were born, I knew there was nothing more important to me than doing my best for you. Being a mom to you and Ella has challenged me, changed me, and been the most rewarding part of my life. I love you more than words could ever describe. Happy 5th Birthday!


Halloween: 6 months old

Bath time: 18 months old

Christmas: 2 years old

Disneyland: 3 years old

Swimming: 3.5 years

Climbing at the Park

Maui Trip:  Almost 4 years old

Feeding the birds at Discovery Kingdom: 4 years old

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

About Me ABCs

I got this cute list from Jennifer over at http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/ I thought these looked like fun questions to answer. Here it goes!

Age: 27

Bed Size: Queen and on nights when Ella comes in our bed, I really wish it was a king!

Chore You Hate: Laundry. I'll do almost any other cleaning to avoid doing laundry. Every time I get it all done I say I'm going to do a load per day. That lasts about two days. Enough said on the topic!

Dogs: Love my dogs. Layla, a Boxer, and Mighty, a boston Terrier. I don't think I would want to live without pets. Since having children, some days the dogs seem like the straw that is going to break this camels back, but really I do love them!

Essential Start of Your Day: Coffee and reading in bed for a few minutes. Telling my girls I love them and asking if they slept well.

Favorite Color: Purple and Brown.

Gold or Silver: Silver but I have warmed up to gold a little more recently.

Height: 5'2"

Instruments You Play: Sadly, none. I'm not very musical.

Job Title: Housewife and Mother and I'm pretty sure every mom know all the jobs that come along with those titles.

Kids: 2 girls. Ages 4 (almost 5) and 3

Live: Beautiful Northern California

Mom's Name: Lilly. She one of the most fun people I know and one of my best friends.

Nicknames: None really. My husband calls me honey or baby. My dad used to call me Erin Pie.

Overnight Hospital Stays: Two nights after having Payton. One night after Ella.

Pet Peeve: Parents who don't want their kids to get dirty. That's what being a kid is all about in my opinion.

Quote From a Movie: I seriously have not seen very many movies in the last 5 years and I am not a person that remembers movie lines. Sorry, I've got nothing!

Right- or Left-Handed: Right

Siblings: 2 younger sisters

Time You Wake Up: I prefer not to wake up before 8:00 am. That will change next year when Payton has to be at school by 8:15 every morning. Ugh!

Underwear: Victoria's Secret.

Veggie You Dislike: Peas, but I don't dislike them as much as I used to, meaning I won't pick them out of something. I don't like zucchini that is mushy. It's not my favorite, but I'll eat it if it's pretty crisp.

What Makes You Run Late: Endless trips back into the house for this or that after I've already gotten the girls in the car. 

X-Rays You Have Had: Dental, Ultra Sounds, My wrist when I broke it in 6th grade and my ankle when I broke that when I was 18.

Yummy Food You Make: Tacos. Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies. My hubby cooks steak and chicken perfectly on the bbq.

Zoo Animal You Like Best: Giraffes

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Break

The girls' preschool has been closed all week for spring break and we have been having an amazing time! We have been so busy every day with play dates and activities all day. I am so happy that the rain let up just in time and we have been enjoying gorgeous weather all week.

On Monday we met up with some friends from school at a skate park. I wasn't sure if the girls would like this, but you never know until you try. They rode their scooters all over that place and since we went in the morning, we were the only people there. Right next to the skate park was a regular playground, so we went over there to play next. After all that playing we came home and ended up going over to our neighbors house until dinner time!

Tuesday, we went up to the farm to visit our horse. At first the girls whined like crazy about not wanted to go with me, but once we were there they didn't want to leave. They fed the chickens and Ella went crazy over a very friendly barn cat that she found. That afternoon we had our last swim lesson of the session. The girls did great and got a certificate at the end. Payton is moving into Beginner 2 for the next session. I'm so proud of my little swimmer!

The next day we enjoyed a relaxing morning at home and then another neighbor came over to play at our house all afternoon. The girls decided they wanted to try out our pool even though it is freezing and not really ready for summer yet. One thing I'm happy to discover is that the girls no longer protest so enthusiastically about putting on sunscreen, which is a very nice change.

Yesterday we met some more friends at a really cute park called Children's Wonderland. It is gated and huge! In the sand area there is a button to turn on water and make a little river. The girls thoroughly enjoyed that! Ella's pants were soaked, but it was such a nice day that they dried completely before we left. We had dance in the afternoon. I was a little worried because they played so hard all morning, but Payton did excellent and Ella made it through with a little bribery of a treat from the vending machine at the end of class.

We're planning on some more adventures this afternoon and I am bringing my camera for sure!