Friday, April 22, 2011

Planting beauty

At the end of March, Scott, Austin and I headed to Lowe's and Home Depot (comparision shopping!) for some spring flowers to spruce up the backyard patio.  We wanted to get something easy (aka: low maintenance and hard to kill) for both of us.  I can keep plants alive but I don't think I do that well on flowers, so I didn't want to spend too much or get anything that would die within a week.  I'm happy to report it's been about one month and my flowers are looking good.  Austin's on the other hand, I think, have been over watered, but are s-l-o-w-l-y starting to perk up!

Helping daddy pour the soil into the pot
Loves filling his dumptruck with dirt so he was taking that and putting it into his red pot.
Daddy helping put Austin's flowers in the pot (changed pots - red to green)
Packing it with soil 
Our masterpiece! 
I suggested Austin take his flowers up in his playhouse. 
Austin does a pretty good job watering the flowers

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our California Adventure: Thursday

Thursday I would say was our most relaxing day on this trip.  Together with Uncle Mark and Aunt Sandra,  we (Scott, Carolyn, Austin & I) did loads of new things yet not once did we feel rushed or felt like we needed to 'take a rest'.  After meeting Uncle Mark & Auntie at their place (which was only 20 min from our hotel!), we headed to the Great Park Balloon. 
Waiting for the fog to clear & have a 5 mi visibility so we can go up!

These pictures don't do it justice!  What an awesome experience and we wish there was something like that offered here in TX!  Another perk: it's free! We had to wait about 45 min-1 hour but it was manageable since they had picnic benches and a kids area for Austin to play with.  We were thisclose to leaving and coming back later since they needed at least a 5 mi visibility to have the balloon go up and it was looking like that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.  So right when we were thinking about and debating on going to the mall to wait our pager went off!  OUR TURN! :-)
"WOW!  Big balloon!" 
Austin loved seeing the balloon but was in a 'mood' all week, therefore refused to go up.  His response to things by saying, "I don't wanna ____" was getting old, so I :gasp!: forced him.  I may have traumatized him, but he said that about the other things he didn't want to do (ie: rides at Disneyland), but halfway through he'd shout how much he loved it or that it was cool.  This one, however, was not the case.  Oh well!  We were all going to experience this and not have someone on the ground missing out.  Austin did peek out from my shoulder once or twice, but pretty much kept his eyes closed. 
. . . and we're still going up! 
It was beautiful - although Austin was very afraid and not into it 

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

After the balloon ride, we headed to the mall - Irvine Spectrum - and walked around and ate at the Cheesecake Factory.  Can anyone say YUM!?
One of many gorgeous outdoor malls in CA!  Why can't they design outdoor malls like that here in Texas?!  Seems logical to me - built it like an indoor one with the parking on the parimeter and the stores/isle on the interior!  Genius ::)  Seriously, though, between the temps, the beaches, and their malls I'm ready to move! 

We came across this and Auntie & I convienced Uncle Mark to come with us while Scott, Carolyn and Austin walked around.
One photography lover taking a picture of another photography lover! 
Auntie & Uncle Mark! 

After walking around for a bit, we then headed over to Balboa Island by ferry for some more window shopping. That experience was just about the coolest thing ever!  HAHAHA sometimes (yes I said SOMETIMES) I'm easy to please :-)
The family pimpin' out in our (rental) minivan on the ferry! 
Austin not very trustworthy of the ferry! 
Carolyn walking the quaint town.

After walking around Balboa Island we then headed over to Newport Beach and had a blast!  I think we could have literally spent all day there, but sadly we couldn't. :(  Huge bummer, but it was fun while it lasted.  Too bad we weren't here for another day of nothing but the beach.  Austin, like pretty much everything he did this week, was refusing to go on the beach and get in the sand/water.  After, again, some forcing of him to get on the beach, he quickly realized how much he likes sand (a new thing - use to H.A.T.E. sand!) and begged to have his shoes taken off!  By the time we were leaving, he had to be carried - he didn't want to go! LOL
Family portrait! 
testing. 1..2..3..  OK!  "I LOVE THE BEACH" <-- his exact words! 
Austin's first time at the beach and he loved it.  Ran the whole time soaking it all in.
My favorite picture of Father & son! XOXO 
Momma & son sandy feet
Looking into the magnificent ocean is SO peaceful! 
Our first California/Pacific Ocean picture!
Making our mark! 

After the beach, we headed home (Auntie & Uncle Mark's place) for dinner.  Auntie is such a phenomenal cook and apparently afraid we were going to starve (LOL <3 ya! 831), so she made us some cheese dip while we were waiting on her delishious chicken enchilada dinner to finish. Austin proved to me that day that although I carried him for 9+ months, he is NOT my child!  He was tearing up the cheese dip and, I believe, had 4 helpings all to himself! 

Making the delicious dip! 
Going to town on the dip
plus two different cheeses, melted over the stove = yummy.  A tad spicy for me but we've already made it twice at our house since!  :-)

After dinner we just relaxed and caught up & it was SO NICE!  I haven't seen them since October 2008, when we flew to AZ for the Race for the Cure in honor of Grandma.  Uncle Mark was the "fun Uncle" growing up and clearly, he still is.  He may be older, but he's still the same fun-loving, tickling, tackling Uncle that I remember and Austin loved playing with his Great Uncle and doing things that I remember doing with him.

It sucks having all your family live so far away and I was sad for yet another family filled day to end.  :(  I'm so grateful we made this trip to see so many of our family and for them to finally meet my husband, my son and my mother ("in-law").  A lifetime of memories were made and we were sad for it to end, but alas it was time to get back to reality.  

Although Friday was technically our last day of vacation, all we did was pack, drive as fast as we legally could to Hollywood to see the Hollywood sign and then get to the airport.  Our flight was great - no turbulence - although Austin was very afraid and knowledgeable about what was going to happen so it was a feat getting him buckled in.  Once Daddy told him to close his eyes if he was scared he did that and then slept till we were about 15 min from San Antonio (our layover stop).  Then from S.A. to Dallas was literally 30 min LOL.   My parents picked us up and then we headed home after an 'interesting' trip to Dairy Queen. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Our California Adventure: Wednesday

Disclaimer: I've been waiting and waiting to do this day's vacation blog for a while now and I keep putting it off.  Why?!  Because on Wednesday and Thursday we did SO much that it's literally picture overload if I show you all the fun things we did.  I LOVE taking pictures and feel happy showing them off to capture that moment.  However, when you're trying to post the pictures in 'blogland' displaying so many pictures can be pretty boring and monotonous for viewers, so I've decided that I'm going to *try* to narrow Wednesday and Thursdays' events into no more than 10 pictures.  HAHAHA  yea right!  Here we go:

On Tuesday evening, like I mentioned in my previous post, my Aunt Melody, Nicholas & Samantha drove all the way (~6 hrs) from Mesa, AZ to see and go to Disneyland with us.  I LOVE family and this is a great example of what a loving family I have - they would sacrifice money, time and a boring 6 hour one way car ride just to see us for 18 hours or so! 

I still can't believe that my 'little' cousin is practically a head length's taller than I am (kidding, well, slightly!) and he's only 12.  I SO got the runt gene and it's depressing!  It was great seeing them and realizing that they were in the hotel room right next door was the cherry on top. 
Nicholas & I at Aunt Melody & Uncle Brent's house 2 days after coming home from the hospital

On Wednesday morning, bright and early, we stopped at the hotels' breakfast area and filled up and then made our treck to the Disneyland gates.  Our hotel was only 1 mile South of Disneyland and we realized the parking lot to DL was only 1 street North of our hotel (so we saved $20), so we decided to just make the walk anyways.  It wasn't so bad getting there. . . it was l-o-n-g coming home!  Ha!  The park hours were from 9-11 that day, but we wanted to be there at 8:15 to get in line.  Yes, there was already a line!  After they opened up the park gates, the announcer then said that they were going to extend the hours to be closed at midnight - so we were at the park from 8:15AM till 11:15PM!  If you want to add that it's 15 hours of Disney MAGIC!  It was a long day but well worth it. 

As Austin's parents it was our goal to make sure that Austin met Mickey Mouse.  He's been watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV and loves him, so we couldn't wait to see the look on his face when he finally met him in person.  Little did we know the ordeal we'd have to go through!  :-/  When we walked through the gates and entered Disney, the first character we saw was MM himself.  Scott raced ahead to get in line (yea. . .) and the attendant said that it was closed and that Mickey Mouse would be back in 45 minutes!  We were devastated.  Austin started crying because he could SEE him, but not go up to him!  How do you explain THAT to a 3 year old child?!  Therefore I started crying LOL  However, other attendants at the park told us to go to the ToonTown and go to MM's clubhouse and get a personal 1:1 visit with him.  Little did we know that that was the best thing we've ever done!   It took about 30-45 mintues or so of waiting in line but when the chance to meet Mickey Mouse finally happened, Carolyn, Scott, Aunt Melody and I were in tears.  It was such a magical moment in a child's life to meet Mickey Mouse.  Austin was in such awe and the line was WELL WORTH IT!

SO BLESSED they were apart of this day!! 
Austin adores his "Nick-ohh-LASS"

The day was LONG but such a blast.  We finally left the park around 11:30pm - and yes, Austin was still going (!).  Once we were back at our hotel, we crashed until our early morning the next day when we met up with Uncle Mark and Auntie (Aunt Sandra) for another fun-filled day in Cali.  Stay tuned!