Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Visit from Friends

I mentioned this back in my blog post about the 4th of July, but our friends Amy, Erik and their son Duncan had planned to visit us from Seattle. Illness stopped them in July, but they rescheduled for a visit in August! We were so excited for them to come in. I took a half day off work so I could pick them up from the airport and have some chill time before getting the kids.

Bennett immediately wanted to be best friends with Duncan. These two were so cute together. Duncan is about 6 months older than Bennett, so they went back and forth between playing on their own and wanting to be in each other's business.

We had a pretty relaxed weekend, really. We hung around the house a lot, and played in the back yard. Erik got a chance to read to all three kids on a few occasions!

We did go to the little pool in our neighborhood that is perfect for our kids' ages. It's only about a foot deep, so the little ones just wade around the whole time, playing with toys and holding on to a ball.

June and Duncan also had a cute little friendship. Duncan seemed pretty interested in June, and she wanted to help him out in return. Duncan really enjoyed playing with June's horse castle, which has these ramps that allow little horses to move down them. So June would purposefully bring it out and set it up for him because he liked it so much!


We also went out to eat for brunch and then headed to a little park to let the kids run around. This was the one place where we got a group photo!

It was so wonderful to get to catch up with Amy and Erik. Whenever we see them I feel like we are just talking a mile a minute catching up on our lives, what's going on with our families and plans for the future. I love these guys to death, and I think we might have to make a trip up to Seattle to see them next!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tiger Girl

When I was little my parents would, at random times, ask if I was 'an angel girl or a tiger girl.' I remember this happening in different situations...while I was getting tucked in at night, when I was about to play sports... but I don't remember if there was ever a time when I said I was an angel girl. I just remember feeling so proud to tell my parents I was a TIGER GIRL and being so happy to see their amused laugh in response. 


I signed up to coach June's soccer team this year. It's the Under-6 league and most of the players are 4 and 5 years old. This is my first time coaching and I go back and forth being nervous and excited. I hope that I'm able to meet the needs of the kids, hold their attention and plan age-appropriate practices that are fun for everyone. 

One of the earliest things I had to do was pick my team name. June had been particularly into tigers lately, and I thought they were a sufficiently 'cool' and ferocious mascot, so we became the Tiger Team just like that. 

The other day we took our first family trip to Sports Authority. I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but after a lifetime of playing sports, it was sort of an emotional moment for me as we all walked in. 

June wanted to wear her 'glass slippers' out on our errands, so at one point she had one slipper on and one cleat. It was perfect. One of my favorite high school memories is playing a big soccer game one afternoon and then rushing home to get ready for the homecoming dance. Seeing these two sides of June, the glass slipper and the cleat, I just felt (hoped?) that I was getting a little glimpse into her future too.


June was invited to a birthday party recently. It was the first ever drop-off party she had been to. I wasn't sure if I should leave her or stay, but June actually overheard me discussing the options with Michael and insisted she wanted me to leave. (I think she felt very grown up to be at a party without a parent there.)

It was a princess party and June wore a princess dress. She looked adorable with her glass slippers on and her hair all done. 

I left and went to a coffee shop nearby. About halfway through the party, I got a text from a friend whose daughter was also at the party. She said that a face painter had shown up and June had gotten her face painted:

That's right.

My daughter, in her head-to-toe princess getup, got a full face mask of a tiger face when it was her turn to get her face painted. Other girls and boys had gotten little flowers or characters on their cheeks and June asked for this huge, intense painting that would have fit in perfectly at a tailgating party.

I hadn't laughed so hard in a long time, and I was sitting in a very public coffee shop.

When I went back to pick her up, I gave June a big hug and told her how funny and cool I thought she was. I also noticed 3 or 4 other kids with tiger faces. My friend told me that, after June got hers, some other kids also asked for a tiger face. So now all these other parents also had kids coming home with this look.

The mom of the birthday girl posted a handful of pictures from the event, which really was such a fun and cute party. But I couldn't help but laugh at all the adorable pictures of the little girls...and then this, the only picture of June:

Let's have a close up, shall we?

(When we got home, Bennett did NOT know what to do with June. He went back and forth from having worried eyebrows and whimpering - to smiling and making a soft "rawr" noise at her. Actually, he continues to "rawr" at her now and then.)

My little unexpected, complicated, silly girl. Oh, I do love her so much, that tiger girl of mine.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The State Fair Times Two

Michael and I went to the California State Fair twice this year - once on a date night and again with our kids and some friends. Best case scenario!

On the date night, it was so laid back and relaxing! We got beer and burgers and sat and listened to some live music. (You know you're an emotional mom when you start tearing up watching the teenage death metal band on stage, and seeing how happy they all were to be doing it, and leaning over to your husband saying "You know what, I'd be so proud if that were my kid!" Highlight: the tiny blonde girl who was the drummer-slash-girl who was doing that metal scream into the microphone.)

We walked around, seeing the sights, including tons of animals and the 4H animals. All these sheep were being groomed and paraded out and judged. For the life of me, I couldn't distinguish what would make one of these sheep 'better' than the next, but I guess that's why I'm not an official judge.

I just liked watching them, bleating and nuzzling up against their handlers.

We didn't ride many rides - just the ferris wheel, but it was still fun walking around and seeing all of them.

A week or two later, our friends asked if we wanted to go to the fair as families. We got there right as it was opening to beat the crowds and get some good hours in before it got too hot (and before naps were set to occur!).

The first stop was pony rides, followed by the petting zoo. This petting zoo was legit. They had lots of different animals, including pigs and wallabies! June had a blast and wanted to keep feeding them. Some of the animals were pretty... I guess 'assertive' is an appropriate getting the food. The deer even kept nibbling peoples' shirts, which made June laugh (surprisingly).

(Michael snuck up on our friend Joe, acting like he was the deer eating his shirt. I laughed, but you'd think I'd be more prepared for when Michael did the same to me. I'm not proud of the noise that came out of my mouth when I thought the deer was getting me.)

Bennett started off wanting to stick pretty close to me, but by the end of it he was charging off trying to pet the wallaby.

Then we got to milk a goat! I'm pretty sure that it was supposed to be a kids-only activity, but both Shannon and I were not about to pass up the opportunity, so as soon as June was done, I took a seat and was like, "MAMA'S TURN."

Afterward, we scattered and each found some different fair food and met back for a picnic in the shade. It ended up being a bit of a commune kids were eating their kids' mac-n-cheese, their kids were eating my kids' sausage. And everyone was crawling after the snow cone.

Then the kids rode a few rides.

We had already passed the normal nap time hour, so we all headed out of the park then. It was perfect timing - just as things were getting really warm.

I think we all took naps that day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Effie Yeaw

Back when Judy was in town, we decided to fill one weekend morning by checking out a local nature center: the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. 

There were several animals to see, including this owl which Bennett kept "Whoo"-ing at.

And this snake, which we all petted - including June!

There was a cute little educational area about the local wildlife.

We probably could have spent a little more time inside, but we really wanted to come so we could walk around the nature trails. Of course the trails were pretty dry and crispy at this point in our record-breaking drought, but it was still fun.

We saw several deer and some turkeys while we were there.

And afterward we went out for an early lunch. 

I definitely want to head back to Effie Yeaw again sometime...especially once we get a little rain!