Very Important Admission

Hi, my name is Crystal, and I’m a morning person. I realized this week, after sentencing three blog posts to the black hole of my Drafts folder because I wasn’t “feeling it”, blogging simply does not happen for me in the evenings! I don’t know why I’ve been waiting until the day is over to sit down to write. I know it won’t happen. I am just not a night-person. Never have been, never will be no matter how much I try to be like my husband! Eventually staying-up-late catches up with you, and I’ve reached that point. Last night I went to bed at 10:12, and I only waited that long because I’d been sitting on my bed perusing Pinterest like a zombie for the previous thirty minutes and was too out-of-it to get off the bed, flip the light off, and tuck myself into the bed!

So here’s to a new plan: write in the MORNING, when the sunlight is pouring through my windows, my brain is awake, and my highly-needs-attention child is still asleep 😉 I am a morning person. Always have been, always will be.

Here’s what’s blooming this morning:

102914[1]

Tiny sproutlings (yes, I am aware that’s not a word!) of something. Arulula? I’d tell you what they are, but my son planted them, and I don’t know which seeds he sowed in that particular spot of the garden. May I also just say that it is insane to be planting a garden the end of October! But I figured with the weather being so unseasonably warm that I might as well stop being put-out about it and try to get a winter garden going. Who knows, as warm as it still is, we may not even have winter, in which case, a garden is a spectacular idea since it’s at least not a hundred degrees outside anymore! I’m going with that being arugula. We also planted spinach, kale, lettuce, and fava beans, all of which are taking their own sweet time to show their little green faces.

Before I dash off to spoon oatmeal into bowls and get our daily projects started, here is the current crown jewel of my garden, a Mona Lavender Grandma and I fell in love with last week… I’m going to try keeping it alive as a houseplant over the winter then find more in the spring to grace my landscaping. Isn’t she gorgeous? I love starting my day with something in bloom!

102914[2]

Walking the Boardwalk

Still craving a cool walk on the coast, we ventured further north to a town with a boardwalk along the oceanside bluffs. No fear of snakes or impassable trails HERE! And it was even cool enough to wear jackets for most of the walk.

We passed a nice lady who was out for her daily walk, then a few minutes later, she passed us when she turned around to walk back to her car. The sight of us on a bench having a pre-walk snack (gotta keep these kids fueled!) was so adorable to her that she announced, “You have to let me take your pictures because you all look so cute!” So here we are in all our adorableness ; )

IMG_5946

Bug enjoys the cooler weather the most as he’s always been extra-sensitive to ambient temperatures. I think he also just likes an excuse to be able to wear his favorite green hoodie because it makes him feel very Hulk-like! IMG_5949

Grandma and Grandpa joined us for a little while before leaving for a wedding, so it was just a nice casual walk. No sandy messes to clean up, no heavy bags to haul, just our family enjoying the ocean breeze and having fun with our cameras.

 

IMG_5956

This girl is her own personal stylist! I’ve always had these expectations of me picking out my girls’ outfits and dressing them like mini-me’s  until they were at least twelve… Funny the things we assume until we actually become a mom! While she and I share alot of the same tastes, she definitely has her own way of putting outfits together, and I’m learning to give her some freedom to express herself. She adores accessories and seems to have a knack (NOT inherited from me, by the way!) for making them look as effortless as an afternoon stroll on the coast : ) IMG_5959

Super-Vitaminman!

I heard on the news about the Children’s virus that is quickly spreading across the Midwestern U.S. These things always give me an initial freak-out reaction that goes something like, “We’re not going ANYWHERE, and we’re going to wash our hands at least a hundred and seven times a day, and if we DO have to go anywhere, we will not even BREATHE!” One of my worst nightmares as a mother is having to see one of my children in the hospital battling a deadly illness. Most of that probably stems from watching my firstborn baby struggling for life in a neonatal ICU for his first week, so yes, I get a little overly-paranoid.

My next reaction is to form a more realistic battle plan. I hollered at the kids, “Everybody look at Mommy!” Eight eyes turned toward me, and I launched into the whole, “We’re going to build our immune systems” pep talk. Four blank stares. Right; not nutrition researchers. Scratch that. New tactic.

“Did you guys know there is a superhero living INSIDE of you?”

Oh yeah! THAT got their attention!

Amidst disbelieving giggles and bright eyes, I told them, “Yes! Seriously! There is a superhero living inside of you! It’s called your Immune System.”

“That Superhero lives inside of you and fights the bad guys that try to get in and make you sick. Does anyone know where he gets his superpowers?”

More wide-eyes and giggles. My oldest superkid ventured an answer, “Our food?”

Whew! I guess I’m doing something right if at least one of my children knows that foundational answer!

“Right! How is our food a superpower?”

Ummm…

…OK, maybe I still have some teaching to do…

“Our food has vitamins and proteins that our Superhero uses to fight off the Supervillains. If we don’t eat enough vitamins and protein, our Superhero loses his powers! And sugar is like Kryptonite!!!

vitarminman
My superhero connoisseur gave him a persona, and we named him Super Vitaminman. I loved the addition of that villainous bug!

Here is our plan to combat Cold and Flu Season 2014:

No sugar! This is always my foundation because sugar kills white blood cells. Without white blood cells on the front lines, you’re battling a lost cause.

Lots of protein. Protein is the building block for healthy cells, especially those white ones! So eat that juicy steak and golden-roasted chicken as if your life depends on it! Because it does ; )

More fresh stuff. We already eat a good amount of fruit and veggies in our house, but we can always do better, so we’re super-charging our veggie intake to get all those antioxidants, probiotics, and enzymes to fight bad bacteria.

Fill in the holes. Just eating fruits and veggies isn’t always enough these days. Sometimes they need an extra boost to bring the vitamin content up to what it used to be half a century ago. There are a dozen reasons our veggies and fruits leave holes behind, but that’s another story for another day. For now, there are holes to be filled. In our home we fill our holes with… *drumroll please*

IncredivitesIncredivites!

Super-vitamins for super-kids who want super-powers. No need for plasma bolts when you’ve got THIS in your hand!

This is the only children’s multi-vitamin available in the U.S. that has Lactoferrin. That sounds like an awesome name for a superhero, doesn’t it?! Lactoferrinman…? Never mind!

Lactoferrin is a nutrient in breastmilk that gives babies an extra immune boost. If your baby never had the opportunity to breastfeed, they could sure use some of this stuff! Even if your baby DID breastfeed, there’s nothing wrong with an extra boost, especially during cold and flu and allergy season : )

Incredivites have zero artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives, or contaminates (like lead!), and all the vitamins are extracted from real food ingredients, nothing synthesized in a lab! I’ve searched far and wide and I can’t find anything else that comes close to the vitamin content in these incredible chewables. Nor have I found anything else that does as good of a job at protecting my kiddos from all the flu bugs. They’re sweetened with Xylitol, so not only are they not BAD for your teeth, they’re actually GOOD for your teeth. All four of my kiddos have taken these as soon as they had the teeth to chew them with (some of them even before that; I just crushed them up and added them to their baby food!).

And if all THAT isn’t enough, just check out the Super designs on the tablets : ) Which one does YOUR kid think is the coolest? Mine love the surprise of seeing which super power they get each morning ; )

incredivitetabs
Go here to get these for your own kiddos, or leave a comment below if you want to know more! I love questions : )

 

Zoo Day

One of my goals for vacation was to take each of my kiddos on a Mommy date. On all of our summer trips so far I’ve had a pregnant belly or a nursling in tow, so this year, devoid of either, I wanted to dedicate a day to each child for some one-on-one hang-out-with-Mommy time. Bug’s turn came first! It happened to fall into place on a day when Grandma and Grandpa took the older two kids on a scouting trip, so we let Bitty tag along with us to the zoo! It’s just a tiny local zoo, but the perfect speed for little legs and eyes 🙂

Checking out the cool Lion drinking fountain that guards the entrance to the zoo. This fountain is extra-cool because Daddy used to drink from it when he was the same age and visiting his grandma!

IMG_5866

Bitty found a fascinating animal to check out. This guy saw her from across the pen and waddled right up to the fence and stuck out his head to say hi. Bitty Girl giggled and put out her curious fingers to pet him… IMG_5871

…And she will never do THAT again! Poor baby girl had a rude awakening when her new “friend”, rather than cozying up to her like our neighbors’ puppies, gave a sharp peck to her tiny hand. I’m sure he meant well, but I guess his mommy never taught him to be gentle ; ) Her cries were more in protest and anger than pain; she was quite put-out that such a friendly creature could be so cruel! IMG_5874

See, all better just a few minutes later : ) It was a scorching afternoon, so we savored every little spot of shade we came to.IMG_5875

Bug was in charge of the iPod-camera and proudly snapped pictures of every cool creature that would show it’s head. Like I said, it was a pretty hot day, so even the animals were hiding in the shady nooks and crannies. IMG_5893

I just followed both kids around and took their pictures as they ran from pen to pen smiling the entire time : ) IMG_5897

She finally got to take a turn playing photographer… Crazy thing is, she actually knows how to use it…IMG_5908

My snuggle Bug, getting so big! Every time I see a picture of him, I find myself in a moment of nostalgia remembering him as a bright-eyed baby snuggling in my arms… and now here he is turning into such a big boy with the sweetest disposition, always ready to go with the flow and spreading smiles and hugs everywhere he goes : )  IMG_5910

We made a quick stop at the gift shop to pick out some goodies. Bug procured a frog and T-shirt while Bitty would have nothing but a gray elephant with sparkly blue eyes! IMG_5917

No exaggeration, they were both OUT in the ten minutes it took to drive home! IMG_5919

I told you it had sparkly eyes! It was the eyes that drew Bitty Girl in. She was browsing the gift shop, casually wandering from one shelf to the next when suddenly she stopped, spun around, and hollered, “MOMMY!” I turned to see her practically leap across the open space to a small rack full of these baby animals, all with sparkly eyes in a rainbow of colors. She picked up each one, studying it carefully, grinning and giggling as she tried to make her decision. I pulled one of each animal off the rack and lined them up in front of her. This one won the pageant! I don’t know if it was because it’s an elephant like her big sister has, or because of those sparkly blue eyes that reminded her of Daddy’s favorite color, but this was the one she had to have, and she knew it as soon as she saw it. The name on the tag reads “Peanut.” Bitty heard that, and her little brain added “butter,” so we now have Peanut Butter the elephant as part of our family! IMG_5920

They are now inseparable! And this girl is completely zonked out! I carried her from the carseat, into the house, deposited her on the bed, tucked the elephant in, and she never even blinked! IMG_5921

Same with this sweet kiddo! Although, he was significantly more difficult to pull out of his carseat being 45 pounds of sleeping-weight! I full expected him to wake up, but he never opened his eyes, just stretched out and slept for another two hours! I’d say our little “date” was a huge success ; ) IMG_5922

Wildly Beautiful Day!

Words cannot adequately express how beautiful this day was! It will be one of my top vacation highlights from this summer.

We started out at our affectionately-dubbed “Rocky Beach” (it some sort of pirate hideout back in the day, which is very easy to imagine when you’re sitting here watching the waves and admiring the cliffs that shelter three sides of this little cove). We lazed away a couple of hours sorting through the fascinating rocks underneath our feet. I’ve always said it’s a great beach to work on your tan because there’s no sand to blow in your eyes, and you can soak up the rays while entertaining yourself with the treasure trove of miniscule shells and seaglass just inches from your face!

IMG_5749

After dragging ourselves away from the soothing rocks, we started for home. We didn’t make it very far. Just a few miles up the road we made a detour to a remote parking lot overlooking the ocean. As we pulled in, I saw a burst of water far out in the ocean. I’d never seen it before, but I knew it could only be one thing. I saw another, and another as I drove slowly down the winding road. “WHALES!” I gasped, turning into the parking lot. Grandma quickly scanned the horizon, “Yes! You’re right! I see them too!” Somehow I managed to pull into a parking space while my eyes were still glued to the blue expanse beneath us. “Quick, you guys! Unbuckle and get out!” I rushed the kids out of the van so they could watch for water spouts too.

IMG_5768

I’ve always thought it must be an awesome thing to see a whale. Unfortunately, I have a boat-phobia that runs pretty deep, so I haven’t yet gathered the guts to go on a whale-watching boat tour out into the great, deep ocean. Watching whale spouts from our perch on a high sand cliff was more than I’ve ever hoped to see. From that vantage point, as we were looking far down some impressively high dunes, it struck me just how CLOSE the whales were. You don’t expect such a massive sea creature to be that close to shore. But that’s how deep the water is just off the coast, and that’s how comfortable the animals are in their native environment, still mostly-untouched by humans. They don’t seem bothered by the crazy rush of civilization happening only a mile or two away. They keep to their migratory path just like their parents and grandwhales and great-grandwhales…

We gathered a few “supplies” from the van (can’t live without banana chips and almonds, you know!) and began a leisurely descent down the dunes to the beach.

IMG_5769

There was a hard-packed path most of the way that devolved into dry sand for the last couple hundred feet. Bug and I stopped to preserve the moment before we basically ran and slid and hopped down the steep dune to the beach below.

IMG_5774

I will never tire of walking around a bend and catching that first full view of the ocean. It gives me pseudo-chills every time! EVERY. TIME. There is something inside me that wants to laugh and cry and sing and be speechless all at once.

IMG_5775
In all my years of coming here, I had yet to visit this beach. I’d heard stories of my husband “sledding” down these dunes as a kid, and I’ve seen them from our favorite sandy strip several miles away, but I’d never set foot on this strand of beach. It truly took my breath away. I don’t know if it was the pink rays of the early evening sun floating through the soft spray from the waves, or the golden dunes that rose protectively behind the expanse of open beach… It was probably a combination of all of it. Because of the trek to get to it, this ethereal beach is unknown to the tourist crowd and was deserted today save for the occasional local beach bum reading a book or gathering shells. For the most part, it was untouched, preserved in a magically wild state.

IMG_5783
I think it felt a bit too wild for my girls who took it upon themselves to leave a small mark of humanity in the sand.

IMG_5785

We started walking. Our little detour wasn’t just to watch the waves and absorb the beauty, although I could have been content to sit here all day and do just that! We were actually on a mission. That mission consisted of walking down this open expanse of pure beach. We walked and walked. It’s at least a mile from this point to where the dunes begin to stretch into the sea. IMG_5786

We walked and walked most of that mile. We had heard a story of something washing up on that beach and were determined to find it. Never mind the fact that the sun was getting lower and there was no dinner whatsoever waiting in the crock pot at home! It felt like a day to let all of that slide under the rug while we lived in the moment of this adventure.

Grandma and the three older kids moved quickly down the beach, my oldest leaving creative marks in the sand for Bitty Girl and I to follow. We went from mark to mark (it’s kind of amusing to see what symbols a 9-year-old super-hero-connoisseur thinks to leave behind… Lots of arrows and random letters and odd markings ; ) Bitty’s little legs finally started to move slower, and my camera battery was dwindling, so I scooped her up and concentrated on catching up. Now, remember how I said I can only dream of seeing whales due to that boataphobia? It seems one does not always have to board a board to see a whale in the wild… IMG_5797

Yes! You are really seeing what you think you’re seeing! Dead whale. On the beach. Gorgeous, no? OK, so maybe it wasn’t the prettiest thing we’ve seen on this vacation, and it certainly wasn’t the most aromatic! Be grateful cameras can’t capture smell for all time to come! It really was horrendous if you stood on the wrong side of the massive carcass. My kids learned a new word for the day: reek!

Also of important note: this whale has been on the beach for almost two months but was still mostly undecayed on the outside (no, we didn’t try to see what the insides looked like! If it hadn’t reeked so badly…). It just shows what salt spray and super-thick skin can do for you! I made my poor sweet girl stand as close to it as I could convince her to go so I could get a perspective shot. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince her to stand on top of it with a stick as if she’d conquered the beast herself… wouldn’t that have made for a cool picture, though?! There was a perfect stick lying right there too! Maybe someone else had already tried that. If you look closely enough, you can even see barnacles attached to the whale just behind my girl’s right elbow…

IMG_5799

And that is our whale of a tale for the day! …Sorry… you can’t NOT be stupidly-cliche when you have a whale’s tail smack dab in front of you! ; ) IMG_5800

Glad to leave the stench of the whale, we began the walk back up the beach. By this time the sun was lower, the ocean spray was a little thicker, the waves crashing bigger, and all the birds were scrambling for their last chance at sand crab for dinner. We realized we were hungry too and needed to speed up our trek to the van! Grandma set Bitty on her shoulders and marched steadily while the rest of us took turns sprinting, marching, and even running backwards until we were too tired to do anything but walk. Still, I felt invigorated by the setting sun, the salty air and the pounding waves. There was a magnificent energy here that didn’t exist on the other beaches we frequented, and I felt like a privileged guest intruding upon a sacred wilderness.

IMG_5801
Maybe we’ll come back next year to see what is left of the whale… In the meantime, I leave the beach to the care of the surfers who show up every evening at sunset to ride the waves and become part of this ocean wilderness.

Random Kid Sightings

I love catching my kids when they’re not expecting me!

She got her own little book collection from Daddy… I think it’s obvious she likes it ; )

IMG_5684

Early morning… I was still half-asleep, but I heard Bitty Girl fetch her iPod and Bug ask in a whisper, “Can I get in your bed with you?” To which she promptly replied, “Yes!” He climbed in with, “Thank you!” And since Bitty is incredibly sweet and polite right after a good sleep or nap, she said, “You’re welcome!” And they shared an episode of Little Einsteins until I willed myself to get out of bed and preserve the moment while it lasted.IMG_5685

Hanging out on the deck with Bitty while waiting for supper to cook on the grill…IMG_5698

She likes her books : ) IMG_5702

This one likes to sleep in and loves vacation for that reason ; ) Too bad *I* don’t get to sleep in because she kicks!  IMG_5705

Blue Jellies!

I am now officially more than a week behind on documenting our adventures, but our days have been so busy that, by the time I have any free time left at the end of the day, I just want to crash in bed along with the kids! Once I get this far behind, it seems too daunting to try to play catch-up all at once, so I’m not even going to try. I’m just going to take it one day at a time as I have a few minutes here and there. The important things are the pictures anyway, right? After all, if pictures are really worth a thousand words, they can save my fingers alot of typing and my brain alot of work ; )

Another beach day… duh! On our way, we stopped to watch the sea otters who were hanging out near the rocky coast. They wrap up in the kelp to anchor to anchor themselves while they eat and snooze.

IMG_5650

Next stop, my favorite beach! This week there was a confirmed shark sighting (some hungry 18′ Great White hanging out hoping to catch an easy dinner of Harbor Seal!). Yikes! Naturally the water was off-limits past ankle-depth, so we stayed at the edge of the waves and enjoyed the warm sun and cool salty breeze. It was a little strange, though, to see empty beach, police driving up and down the beach to alert any newcomers, and the Harbor Patrol boat scanning the waters. Scary if you really think about it… So we stayed out of the water and played with these cool little guys! They’re some kind of exotic blue jellyfish (minus the stinging tentacles!) that only washes up on shore during an El Nino year. IMG_5651

Every wave brought a fresh batch of them, which the kids would scramble to collect before the next wave washed them away! IMG_5652

A never-ending supply! I even submitted to my inner-child’s curiosity and ran out to grab them to add to the kids’ buckets. IMG_5656

Watching safely from a distance, Grandma provided a spot of shade for this sweet puppy. She belongs to some old friends who came to town and spent the day at the beach with us. IMG_5660

So, check it out! It was one FULL bucket of blue jellies! I wish the camera on my phone could’ve captured the colors in all their beauty. It was this stunning, shimmery blue that sparkled as if it had glitter in it! IMG_5673

Dinner anyone? Soup’s almost done! My water-hating baby thought it was the greatest thing ever to drop the jellies, one by one, into her bucket of water and stir with a seagull feather! IMG_5677At the end of the day, we scattered the Jellies back into the waves and watched them shimmer as the tide picked them up and carried them away.

Sunday’s Bluff

With the ever-soaring temperatures last week, we left the house every single day in search of cooler air to breathe. By Sunday morning I was exhausted and just wanted a lazy day to stay home and do absolutely nothing. By mid-morning, I realized that wasn’t going to be the best choice. The forecast was predicting another scorcher, which meant hunker down in the air-conditioning and wait it out, or pack up and head back to the coast. Of course we chose the latter! But I made it easier on myself by saying, “NO beach.”

Not that beaches aren’t easy; it’s the aftermath of the beach that negates the restful beach-time. Wiping down sandy kids, hauling sandy bags and buckets back to the van, the piles of sandy laundry once we get home, showering four children and myself… yeah, be warned that beach days are never as peaceful as pictures portray them! To every peaceful beach day, there is some not-so-peaceful behind-the-scenes craziness ; )

BUT we still needed to find cooler weather, and I DO love to be in sight of the ocean, so I asked about potential oceanside walking paths, and off we went to take a walk on the bluffs overlooking the water. Grandpa dropped the kids and I off in the parking lot then drove further to drop Grandma and Auntie M at the beach for a swim while he parked in the parking lot at the trail’s end and walked to meet us. Perfect plan. But we all know what happens to perfect plans, right? ; )

The kids and I walked along breathing in the ocean air and practicing walking in single-file on the super-skinny path.

IMG_5616

It was gorgeous as always! You can see for miles down the coast from here. IMG_5619

It’s about time they all learned to walk in a straight line! Now if only grocery stores had a line marked for gaggles of children to restrict themselves to! IMG_5621

Happy spirits all around : ) Not a clue what is around the next bend or how far ahead Grandpa is, but we were content to keep walking slowly along enjoying the view and the cool breeze. IMG_5627

The chance to explore made my kiddo’s day! He loved being able to take a separate path and meet up with us a few yards ahead. Except this particular jaunt was followed by a holler, “I just saw snakes!” Now, I can handle one snake, but snakes plural? That’s not usually a good sign. We slowed down and walked a few steps further with our eyes glued to the ground. IMG_5631At the same time, we came to a change in terrain. The path narrowed (how was that even possible?!), took a steep incline and curved sharply. I halted my troops, and we all stared. Bug had started wimpering at the mention of snakes, and he now started quietly sobbing, “I’m ‘cared.” I backed us up so I could size up that incline and decide if I was brave enough to attempt carrying toddlers down in. It wasn’t far, but what if I slipped on the dusty trail, and we fell off the side? It wasn’t a long drop-off, just a couple feet, but still… Then I noticed the plants growing all over the side of the path. Snakes are a deterrent, steep inclines are a damper, but poison oak seals the deal for me every time. I’ve had my share of poison ivy and have no desire to find out how poison oak compares! Sliding down a steep incline while watching for snakes and trying to avoid touching a toxic plant was a little too adventurous for me.

We retraced our steps to the previous fork in the trail thinking maybe we just took the wrong path. I couldn’t imagine Grandma thinking this section of the path was safe, yet she had assured me that the kids would enjoy it. So we definitely had to be on the wrong one! Off we started up the other trail. It led straight to the highway! Who wants to take a Sunday afternoon walk along the highway?! NOT ME! Retrace steps again. This time I whipped out my phone to text Grandpa:

“Help! Flatlanders lost on Coastal lands!”

He tried to tell me where he was, but our vantage point wasn’t the most advantageous one! We had to backtrack a ways before I could see any of the same landmarks he was seeing. Meanwhile, Bug was still whimpering, “I’m ‘cared.” Only now he had an echo in the form of Bitty Girl’s little voice. I had to keep stopping and show them the ocean, point to the parking lot we’d come from, point down the coast to the landmarks they recognized. “Look, we KNOW where we are! That means we’re NOT lost. We just can’t get to where we want to go! There’s nothing to be scared of.”

I texted Grandpa again to let him him we were heading back to the drop-off point and would wait by the parking lot. He turned around to begin his walk back to the pick-up point where the van was parked, letting me know it would be at least 20 minutes before he made it back. Then he kindly offered up a tidbit of wisdom:

“Conserve water in case I don’t make it. YerLovin Pepe.”

I replied back with, “Got about a quart of water…that should last us a day or two, right?”

 

IMG_5630Every few minutes my phone chimed with another incoming text as my father-in-law gave me status updates:

“Almost got picked off a Harley. I don’t want to be part of seal sanctuary.”

“Sundown in 6 hours. Seagull guano glows in dark; highly nutritious. Don’t give up!”

“Made it to van. Hope I didn’t lose key on bluff trail” : )

My final text to him: “I have my keys in my survival pack (aka beach tote). Water is running low. Need help!”

Grandpa pulled into the parking lot, and we loaded back up to head into the nearby coastal town where the rest of our party was just finished swimming in the chilly ocean. Obviously we weren’t by any means famished or dehydrated or otherwise in need of recovery, but because our walk had been cut short, we walked to main street and treated ourselves to fresh cookies (I was good this time! Only ate a tiny gluten-free cookie and half of an oatmeal-raisin one!) and one last look at the ocean before heading home. It was still a good day : )

IMG_5620

Weekend Excursions

I always have this crazy idea that I’m going to have all this free time for blogging and crafting and visiting cool shops, then I actually go ON vacation and realize that vacations are NOT more restful than my everyday life; they’re just DIFFERENT ; ) It’s being DIFFERENT that makes it a vacation, not getting to sleep in, be more creative, and blog more (because I certainly don’t get to do any of those!). Today is a rare lazy day, so let’s see if I can get caught up on our latest adventures!

Friday we drove a little farther from home to visit a less touristy beach. The air was cooler and the wind rather crazy, so by the the end of the day all of us had sand well-embedded in our pores! But the scenery was beautiful, there was an amazing fallen tree to climb, and I think we lugged home about a bushel of pretty rocks!

IMG_5590

 

Our family tree ; ) Where is this when you need a good family picture?! Wouldn’t this make an amazing prop and backdrop for Christmas pictures?

IMG_5594

Bitty Girl enjoyed her first tree-climbing experience!

IMG_5596

 

Sweet Girl scrambled up like a pro. I love watching her climb things. She’s so nimble and confident then so proud of herself when she succeeds : )

IMG_5597

Saturday was a sleep-in then eat-pancakes day. Grandma and Grandpa had other commitments, so the kids and I hung out together at the house catching up on laundry, working in the kitchen, and putting together the new Lego sets Daddy had hidden in the guest bedroom. Is it just me, or are the Lego Friends sets just about the coolest thing EVER to arrive on the Lego scene?! These are what I always dreamed of when I was a little girl, stuck making up my own cool houses and markets and parks! I’m glad I have a couple of sweet girlies to live vicariously through ; )

IMG_5601

When the housework was done and afternoon temperatures started to rise, we packed up and headed for cooler breezes on the coast. It was a sunny, breezy 72*! Perfect day to buy a fresh cookie and sit on the beach savoring every last crumb. Do you know how long it’s been since I had a real cookie that wasn’t altered to conform to multiple dietary limitations?! Neither do I! I decided I deserved a splurge and indulged in an oatmeal raisin cookie (I figured it would have LESS gluten since it is mostly oatmeal, which is naturally gluten-free). It was quite tasty! My Bitty Girl was quite pleased with her peanut butter cookie as well. IMG_5603

After our cookies and a short walk on the pier, we couldn’t think of anything else to do. The water looked pretty inhospitable. Call me old-fashioned, but sloshing through that tangle of kelp didn’t exactly spark my imagination. Or maybe it was that it DID spark my imagination a little too much… kelp tangling around your ankles can feel like any number of creepy things! Yes, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to wild water; I prefer a swimming pool ; )  IMG_5605

So we killed a little more time meandering through a couple of souvenir shops, decided we don’t qualify as tourists, and headed home for supper. This picture is a perfect end to the day; my baby all tucked into bed with her new stuffed Reindeer, Sven, and a new book (thank you, Daddy!).

IMG_5607