Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our Trip to Southern Cal

As a warning to anyone who may be reading this: there are a LOT of pictures here. And, this isn't the half of it. I will have to do separate posts for the rest of our trip to California. I can hardly believe it's been over a month since we were there. My memories of how the trip really was are already fading slightly. If you had asked me the day after we got home how things were, I would have told you something along these lines: "I think everyone else had a good time. I'm just really, really tired." The trip started out a little rocky even before we left. I took Quinten to the Dr. Thursday night, (the night before we left), only to discover he had a bad ear infection. We hadn't gotten much sleep the two nights before we left, for obvious reasons, so I started out tired. He had a fever that didn't break until Sunday night. Saturday night was one of the worst, if not the worst, nights we have ever had with him. He cried and screamed for hours on end... literally. Our saving grace was the house pictured below.
This is the beach house we stayed at in Santa Monica. One of the owners of the gym is best friends with the owner of this house and hooked us up for the week. It was spectacular. It had three levels: a main living area with kitchen, a master suite upstairs, and two bedrooms, two bathrooms, laundry room and family room downstairs. The garage has this fabulous patio above it with a beautiful fireplace and amazing view. We used the two lower levels and only went upstairs if we wanted to see the view- the house sat right across the street from the beach. I honestly think the only way I didn't pack us all up and leave on Saturday night was because we could separate Quinten from the girls while they were sleeping. They never once heard him.
This was the girls' room. We gave Leah her own bed because the other girls say she moves around too much. :) They loved the beds because they were so high off the ground.
This was in the family room downstairs. We loved the picture behind us- it was huge and so fun.
Saturday night, Andrew and Alexa went to an Angels game. I can't remember who Andrew knows... but, someone who comes into the gym is affiliated with the team... I think. They hooked them up with great tickets. Andrew met a co-worker and his grandson there who drove down from St. George just for the game.
Apparently, Alexa didn't want her picture taken.
The rest of the pictures all took place after a great day at the beach with our friends, the Bushars (who were also going to Disneyland the same day we were), and Disneyland. They will be separate posts because there are lots of pictures. Sunday night we left the beach house and went to our hotel in Anaheim. We were there Sunday night and Monday night. (Sorry, Lauren... the story of me driving Quinten around Anaheim all night will have to wait).
Tuesday before we headed back to the beach house we went to the Griffith Observatory. I think it would have been really cool, except we showed up at the same time five busloads of kids did for a field trip. My kids are probably too young to appreciate it anyway. :)
They really only wanted to see this. We watch way too much Disney Channel. This silly sign is on every show and movie they watch and this is the only thing they wanted to see in LA. Funny girls. Now they've seen it... and they haven't mentioned it since.

This is the Santa Monica Pier. We walked down on Tuesday afternoon to look around.
Callie was terrified of walking on the pier. She thought if she stepped on one of the cracks she'd fall in the ocean. Let me tell you- it took her a REALLY long time to get to the end- even with one of us holding her hand. It wasn't busy or crowded, which was nice.
See Leah looking in the bucket? She was obsessed with finding shells whenever we were near the beach. The problem is she thinks that any broken piece of a shell is a treasure. Ugh.
Quinten spent the majority of his time sleeping in the stroller... probably because he never slept at night! I think I lived off of less than five hours of sleep a night while we were gone. We don't really have any great pictures of him because of this.
On our walk home we stopped to play. Last year when we went the Oregon Coast, Leah wouldn't touch the sand. We had to carry her to a chair from the hotel and then carry her back when we were done. She's come a long way in a year; we are very glad. The weather wasn't great the whole time we were there. We spent more time in our jeans and sweatshirts than I would have imagined. Of course, the day we left it was beautiful. That's always how it works with vacations. :)
My cute, cute girls. They actually look like they are getting along... shocker.
Tuesday night Andrew took Callie to a Dodgers game. He met Scott, Scottie, and Bentley Bushar there. Andrew said it was a different kind of game- not as family friendly as Anaheim... a little bit of a rougher crowd. :)
But, they still had a great time. And Callie even scored some free bobblehead that she proudly displays on her shelf in her room. She has actually packed it to take on our trip to Washington because, "If I am missing Daddy I can hold it and remember that it is something I got from him". My sweet girl.

So, the trip was a success. Even with only a month passing, I have forgotten the worst of moments that may have been. Eventually, I think I will forget them all and will only remember that we had great family time together; and that my kids and my husband were so happy. Vacations will always be work for a Mom, I've decided. However, it's also what you choose it to be. I choose to remember the smile on Alexa's face when she got home from her first MLB game, I choose to remember Leah laughing when she first laid down on her own "big" bed, I choose to remember Quinten trying to climb stairs for the first time and clapping when he made it up one, and I choose to remember Callie telling me about going on her favorite ride again with her Dad... (It's a Small World... twice... isn't he nice??). They were so excited and so happy; and because they were happy, so am I.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Long Overdue Randoms

The girls' latest obsession is pushing Quinten around in the baby stroller. He loves it, of course; and, it terrifies me because they come WAY too close to tipping him over.
My three cute girls waiting for family arrive to celebrate Leah and Quinten's birthdays.

Leah decided it would be a good idea to take black marker and put on ... mascara? eyeliner? I'm not quite sure. She was so proud of herself. It was a pain to clean up.

This was Alexa after her last soccer game of the season. She had a great season- she was the fastest on her team and finally has caught on to the idea of dribbling down the field and scoring goals. At the beginning of the season, we had to explain to her that this wasn't a game where you took turns... that ball could be hers whenever she wanted it- all she had to do was take it. Things improved dramatically after that. :) She scored more goals than anyone on her team. We are so proud of her. So, now begin the days of both Fall and Spring soccer. She wants to do it and we are happy she is improving and loving it.
Before the game. (These pictures were a little out of order.)
This is Alexa and her fabulous piano teacher, Heather West, after her first piano recital. (Heather is one of my favorite people... and she really is fabulous...) Alexa makes us laugh- she is such a perfectionist that it is almost to her detriment. If she can't get it right the first time, she gets frustrated and sometimes crazy. I think she is so used to everything coming so easy to her- she doesn't have to try, it just is. Piano has been great for her because she HAS to practice. It's painful to help her practice when she gets stuck and needs help- she drives me crazy!! But, I know she loves piano and I think everyone should learn how to play, so she will keep doing it until she absolutely refuses. :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Callie Girl

Today is Callie's 5th birthday. Callie was my quickest birth- a whopping four hours from the time I got the the hospital to the time she was born. What a blessing!! Callie was a great baby. She was a great eater, she was not terribly fussy, and she put up with moving into a new house when she was a week old. She was my one child who I could lay in her crib awake and she'd fall asleep on her own. She is still a champion sleeper. Callie is my one true brown haired child. All my kids have been born with dark hair, but hers is the only head that hasn't lightened with time. She also has the most beautiful dark brown eyes- they are so dark, sometimes they look black. She is a beautiful girl.
Callie woke up early this morning just as I was getting Quinten out of his bed, came into his room and said, "Guess how old I am today, Mom? I'm five!" I also heard her singing Happy Birthday to herself as I was making dinner tonight. She just makes me smile. Callie is my thoughtful child. She tries to be so helpful with Quinten. The picture above is a prime example of this. If he wakes up and I can't get to him right away, she runs to his room, crawls into his crib and entertains him till I can come get him. I think they have a fun relationship because of this. She's the first to try to make me happy when she knows I'm mad or upset. She is quick to point out that she wasn't the one making me mad. :) Callie has such a tender heart. She hates goodbyes and cries when she knows we won't see someone for awhile. It always breaks my heart to see her so sad. Her chin quivers just a little if she has to watch a goodbye on TV... even if it's a cartoon. :) However, she is also my child with a little bit of bite. Don't get on her bad side or she'll make you miserable. :)
Callie loves to dance and sing. Music makes her happy- it is her passion. She always wants new music to listen to and is the one who always wants me to turn the music up in the car. She'll start dance again in the fall with a new dance studio- she is so excited and can't stop talking about it.
Callie spends a lot of time wishing she were older like Alexa. Sometimes we struggle with keeping things fair... we wish she would understand that they can't be fair! She'll start Kindergarten in August and I'm hoping this will help. She'll have her own "thing" and hopefully it will ease the tension between those girls! I suppose we'll just run into it again with Callie and Leah in a couple years... it never ends. :)
Callie is the sweetest and the best. How did I get so lucky to have such amazing kids??

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Quinten, Quin, Quinny, Q... he has plenty of names

How did the year go so fast? I always dread the first few months after I have a baby. The lack of sleep, trying to nurse, healing from giving birth, taking care of other needy kids at the same time... it's never something I look forward to. I anxiously await each milestone that I can put behind me: first smiles, solid foods, sitting up alone, etc. But, there is just something about Quinten that has really helped me enjoy this last year. Quinten just makes me smile. Maybe it's partly because I know he will always be my baby or possibly because he is the only boy... I'm not really sure. This last year has been good. I've still spent the year wishing for more sleep, more freedom, and more alone time, but it's still been great. He is a sweetheart. I love that he loves me so much. He smiles whenever he sees me; if he is sitting with anyone else, he immediately starts to squirm. We've developed our own way of communicating in the last few months. He is very different than the girls: they were all talking by the time they were a year old. So, Quin and I have found other ways to figure out what he needs. He points with his head, he makes different noises for yes and no. I can tell by the look on his face if I'm doing what he wants me to do. He is such a happy little guy. I have friends who tell me all the time that they never see him cry or fuss... I know this is not true, but it's nice to know he keeps his bad moods out of the public eye. :)
Quinten is still a little guy, as all my kids have been. The crazy thing is even though he weighs about what the girls did at this age, he feels heavier and thicker. He's just a boy and we love it. He would play with balls all day if we would let him and actually already has a good arm on him.
He loves his sisters, but when he's had too much he just reaches out and pulls their hair... and smiles the whole time he is doing it.
Quinten is still not walking; it's really no surprise since all our kids have been late walkers. He pulls himself up and walks around the furniture. We're getting there! Maybe by the end of the summer we'll have walking news. He still crawls on his belly instead of his hands and knees, which ruins all his clothes, of course; but, he is really fast, so why change a good thing?? We are still waiting for some teeth to come in- we hope it happens soon just so it will be easier for him to eat. His hair continues to be the bane of my existence. I'm so used to the girls- we get trims a couple times a year. This kid need his hair cut at least once a month! Ugh. I always put it off just because I hate it and he hates it, but he looks terribly shaggy by the time we get it done. I suppose he's lucky to have hair at all... some two year olds aren't as lucky as him. :)
Quinten is just the best. Watching him grow this last year has truly been a joy. I'm so grateful to be his mom. I have been blessed and I know it.

I think he was eating Oreos in this picture...


I finally got the pictures to upload for Leah's birthday post. If you want to read it, you may have to scroll down a bit to find it.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Andrew & The Kids