Friday, July 31, 2015

More from Grammy & Papaw's Visit

Besides building a birdhouse, we did plenty of other fun stuff while Grammy and Papaw Fred came to visit. We let the kids play in the baby pool outside, June got to read books with Grammy every night before bed and they even picked June up early from daycare one day to take her to the zoo.

Other than that, there was playing at the park:

And going to a local park's kiddie pool:

We went out to a couple of restaurants, demonstrating the phase of life that Bennett is in. (Namely, the Difficult to Take to Restaurants phase of life. That boy is not interested in sitting still...just like I remember June being at this age.)

June also gained a renewed interest in her doctor's kit and wanted to give checkups all the time.

It was a great visit!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Building the Birdhouse

When Judy and Fred were visiting this past trip, June got the chance to build a birdhouse using a little kit I bought! This kind of thing is right up Fred's alley

It was so cute watching them together. June was very excited to help and Fred was very patient and accommodating with her. I'm not sure if I would have been quite as calm as he was while June was hammering away at those little nails right next to my fingers!

Fred wouldn't settle for any old birdhouse assembly so he reinforced all the edges with a little extra wood glue. 

Our two builders and their finished product:

The next night we painted it! June did most of the painting but she did let me help out with the roof.

It's how hanging out on one of our trees out front. I'm hoping there's some (very small) bird out there who is interested in a new home! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Day at the Splash Pad

Summer in Sacramento is so funny. We get days that are super hot, then we get days that are cloudy and cool and perfect. But with the severe drought we're experiencing, we don't have a ton of options for keeping cool at home. 

We checked out a local splash pad recently and it was really fun! We met up with some friends, splashed around and then went back to their place for some dinner.

It took Bennett a little while to warm up, but eventually he was getting in on the water fountain action.

June was a pro and was all about running through even the big water features.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Garden Harvest

A garden update since I found a bunch of photos. I don't think I've blogged about the garden since it was only a few weeks old. 

The far side of the garden has gotten a little out of control. My two tomato plants grew to be humungous, and I just sort of ... let them?

The zucchini plant, which I had hoped would grow up onto a trellis, it turns out is not actually a vining type of zucchini, so it ended up taking up much more space than I had planned.

Even if the garden is a little wild, I do love it, and it makes me happy to water it, take care of it and sometimes just stare at it. Bennett really loves it too, and I have to keep him out of the dirt when I'm watering the garden because he loves the mud.

And now the harvest!

We have so many tomatoes that we can't eat them all. We've had tons of big, meaty beefsteak tomatoes. We've been eating them plain, in caprese salad, roasted tomatoes and a bunch of other ways. On top of that, I sent a huge bowl of tomatoes (plus the cherry tomatoes) to June's daycare for them to eat.

The cherry tomatoes are so good, and it seems like there are hundreds of them on there even after picking off all the ripe ones. 

We've been able to eat green beans from the garden about 6 or 7 times this summer, and they have been so good!

While the pepper plants have been fun to watch produce, they haven't been as successful. The peppers so far either don't get very big or they rot on the plant while I wait for them to get bigger. 

And lastly, the zucchini plant. I swear I have never seen zucchinis this big in my life. I know you're supposed to cut them and eat them when they're just 6 inches long or so, but sometimes it seems like they just get so big over night! I've had a few of them that are as long as my forearm. We've eaten them plain, eaten stuffed zucchini and made so much zucchini bread. 

Not pictured are the sugar snap peas, which I pulled out after they got taken over with powdery mildew, a white powdery fungus. We did at one point have one plant that made it, so we did get some good snap peas before it succumbed. 

I also have a basil plant that is not thriving. Part of the problem was that it's early days were spent in the shade of the zucchini plant, so it didn't get a good start. But I'm hoping it'll make a comeback so I can stop buying store basil for my caprese salad (and I just love basil so much).

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Fourth of July

The original plan for our Fourth of July was to have our friends Amy and Erik and their son Duncan come to visit form Seattle. Unfortunately their family came down with something just before the trip and had to reschedule. We were sorry that they were sick and bummed to miss them, but at least we got to reschedule the trip to next month!

Last year we went to the big East Sacramento parade and planned on going again this year. We were also invited to 'pre-game' at a friend's house. You know you've officially reached a new phase of life when 'pre-gaming' starts at 9 AM and involves toddlers and baked goods along with mimosas! It was really fun seeing such a big group of little kids. June was actually one of the older kids!

When the parade was about to begin, we all created a giant stroller caravan and walked to the street with the parade.

It was starting to get hot and it was close to nap time, so we started the walk home. I thought I was doing a good job of keeping Bennett awake since  he was still sitting up in his seat. That was until he hunched forward and fell asleep with his head on the tray of his stroller! Poor guy was SO tired after his big morning. I tipped him back to a more comfy spot and just let him sleep.

That night my 'in-loves' got in town! They had originally planned on getting a hotel room for the evening, but since our friends were no longer in town, they were able to stay at our place instead. They arrived just as we were starting to use sparklers!

June was a little hesitant about the sparklers at first, but we eventually got her going with them. She then promptly hurt her foot by stepping on one of those little ash pieces, further scarring her away from wanting to ever do sparklers again. (We had been running around barefoot while spraying down our crispy lawn so it didn't catch fire, and just never remembered to put shoes on in the excitement.) My transition to Worst Mom Ever is complete.

But the night ended on a sweet note (and I'm not even talking about the apple pie!).

We came inside, watched some impressive fireworks on TV, then walked to the corner of the street to watch the local show in the distance just over the tree line. Hope you all had a great holiday!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

King Kamehameha & the Girls Day Out

When we were in Hawaii, I knew we weren't going to go to a luau. This was my preference (and I'm happy to say that I think it was for every one else, too) because they're expensive, not-very-authentic and a lot of times you're really pinned into that activity for hours on end. (Difficult with small kids.) However, June had become really interested in hula dancing, so I did hope she might get to see some while we were in Hawaii.

On one day, my little family had planned to take a sort of day trip up to the northern tip of the island to see the King Kamehameha Day festival up there (where he was born). King Kamehameha is a big deal in Hawaii because he was the first king to unite all of the Hawaiian islands. The rest of the family opted in to the day trip, too, so we all hit the road.

The first thing we did when we got there was see some authentic hula dancing and singing. 

June was really cute to watch.

Then we all got some food and had a bit of a picnic in the shade.

We walked around in a hall/gymnasium and watched or participated in a bunch of activities like lei-making, painting, weaving and so on.

Before driving back down to Kona we stopped at the King Kamehameha statue which was ceremoniously draped in leis for the occasion.

After the guys had their golf day, the girls also had our day of relaxation. We booked spa treatments at the Mauna Lani Spa. It was neat because, in normal spas they give you thick robes to wear around. This would have been way too hot in Hawaii (especially since we spent time outside) so they instead gave us these lightweight wraps to wear! How cute are they?!?

We opted to have treatments that were outside in private thatched huts! And they were 'lomi lomi' massages, in the traditional long-stroke style of Hawaii. It was so cool! 

I had my massage therapist take my photo outside of the thatched hut - he probably thought I was the ultimate tourist.

Afterward we spent some time in the jacuzzi (which we had all to ourselves) and each took showers in private outdoor showers!

We then went to the main Mauna Lani resort and had lunch next to the ocean.

Man, looking through all these photos is making me want to go back!