Had a wonderful 80 degree thanksgiving this year. We spent it up at my Aunt’s house which had a picture perfect setting. I brought the camera up but didn’t take nearly enough photos in the beautiful foliage around her yard. That morning Sarah laid out all the ingredients and we let jack mix together everything to make this year’s pecan pies, which turned out delicious and the little guy loved getting to make them. Jack had a blast playing with all of “Robbie’s” toys and playing with his two cousins, Keegan and Quinn. In a year from now these three are going to be a hilarious scene and Keegan will be the mastermind for sure. I randomly enough took some Christmas photos for some friends at a park where I had a photo used for the LAist some 7+ years ago and I decided to snap an updated photo of it as it was just as idyllic, so that’s the random shot in here.
Had another great year of family camp at Mt Hermon with the Taylor/Moe clan. We didn’t take as many pictures as last year but we definitely had an equally as great a time. I managed to get out for killer runs amongst the redwood trees pretty much every day. Sarah and I also did the zip line tour which turned out to be exhilarating and much more scary than I would have guessed. Also not featured is the boat ride that Uncle Ned, Sarah, Jack and I went on which Jack surprisingly really enjoyed. We did the usual staple activities including train day into Santa Cruz and the pancake breakfast which seemingly only become more fun as Jack ages. The trip ended with an extended tour up to Mountain View to see Uncle Ben and Aunt Megan’s new pad as well as a train trip into the city to see Ben’s office at Dropbox which was straight out of Silicon Valley the show. Looking forward to next years shenanigans back up at camp.
I know I already posted some shots from Jack’s birthday party, but there was also his actual birthday which was plenty of fun and I didn’t want to leave these photos out. Mommy started the day off with some chocolate chip pancakes which got him roaring into the day. He also got a very special package with a train spelling his name from Aunt Judy and Uncle David in Virginia that made him very happy. That night Jack had JoJo, Papa, Aunt Brycie, Uncle Nick, and Uncle Scott all over for tacos and birthday cake. Jack got spoiled by the fam with some more presents and a very special red balance bike. We all enjoyed Mommy’s chocolate cake that she made and Jack especially loved shoveling it in his mouth with his new bulldozer toy.
Jack’s 3rd Halloween and each one keeps getting better. We were really nervous about getting Jack in his costume as he’s been quite finicky about some of his clothes but luckily once fully decked out he didn’t worry about it anymore. As a family we went with a super hero theme with Dad getting away with the least effort. We started off at a street a block from our new place that shuts down for the neighborhood. It was a great way to start Jack off with going trick or treating. He preferred being held between houses but warmed up to walking up to people’s doorsteps and whispering Trick or Treat and Thank you when he got candy. After about the 3rd house we decided to let him sit down and eat a little chocolate and that definitely got him revved up for more trick or treating. After running into some friends from the neighborhood we decided to had back by our old condo where one street goes really big with their decorating. Jack surprisingly never got scared by all the decorations, noises, or costumes. He even laughed really hard at some Minion costumes as well as a guy dressed in all red spandex. We managed to get home at a reasonable hour and he wasn’t too hopped up on the sugar to make for a terrible evening. Possibly the best treat of all was getting to see the Dodgers push the World Series to game 7, let’s hope for more of the same tomorrow.
A lot has been going on of late and one of the biggest things was us moving on from our quaint studio into a bigger spot. We’re lucky to be staying in South Pasadena for now and Jack has been loving his own room and the ability to slam doors now. We had to stage the place for listing our old condo which was weird but we enjoyed getting to have some photos of the place put together to keep for memories. I’ve thrown a couple other photos that I had from the last couple months in the condo too. One of the first things we did when getting a house was to find a piano and the photos below capture exactly why I wanted one with Jack. It’s fun looking back at Jack and Sarah making biscuits especially how by the end Jack was pushing mommy away because he wanted to do it on his own.
Jack has his favorites and there’s no questioning one of those is his dear little Addie. We got to celebrate her 5th birthday at Two Strike Park where I hadn’t been since I was a little kid playing baseball. Jack loved being around Addie but was a little overwhelmed by all the kids and people at the park and got a little shy at times. He was very excited to get a donut though that’s for sure.
We’ve been moving so life’s been a mess but we finally got around to posting this letter to Jack from his Mommy as well as a compilation of video clips we have from his second year. It’s long, but Jack particularly loves it, which is great for those moments when you need him to relax for just a few minutes.
You are two! What a year it’s been. We had a routine this past year, and I think we both liked it. But before the school year routine started, you went to some fun places last summer, right after you turned one. You did Mount Hermon for the first time and Sonoma for Bret and Sara’s wedding. We also took you on part of our trip to San Luis Obispo with the Wammacks and Hoppers (Mimi and Grandpa had you one night—and you did well—thank God).
You started walking right around 13 months when the school year started, and once the school year started you went back to seeing JoJo and Mimi once a week while I worked at Fusion on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You even got to see your second cousins, Keegan and Quinn at Aunt Robbie’s when JoJo watched you. You love spending the day with Mimi and JoJo. I’m so lucky they have watched you these first two years of your life. I think it’s helped you have a special bond with both of them. I know you have enjoyed all of the extra ice cream out of this arrangement as well.
This past year, on Mondays, Killian usually came over to play. You guys had the same due date and were born three days apart. After 1 ½ -2 hours Rebecca would come back from supervision and I would go out for 1-2 hours to get some work done. Sometimes I was working on Greenhouse administrative stuff, sometimes studying for my MFT licensing test (Thank goodness that is over!), a handful of times running, and sometimes reading for fun! It also helped you to be left with someone other than Mimi and JoJo. Sometimes it was VERY hard for you to share your toys and hopefully you learned a lot from this experience! You Killian had fun taking turns hitting the baseball, jumping on the bed, eating snacks, playing with cars, and dancing to music together.
On Wednesdays we went to our Pasadena City College class together. It was a class for kids that would be 13-17 months starting on August 31, 2016. You just made th cut! The class was like preschool, but I got to be there with you. We started out with an hour of free time where there was usually some kind of an optional art project. Then there was rug time where everyone sat in a circle and sang songs, then snack time, followed by a talk about a certain parenting subject by the teacher, and then parachute. During the second part of the year, Jane (the teacher) also started reading a story to you all. Some of my favorite days were celebrating the holidays. You got to dress as Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes and come to class, and you also got to hand out Valentines on Valentines Day!
On Fridays we usually walked to Garfield Park in the morning and then walked over to the South Pasadena Library for their story time. It has been so nice to live close to everything in South Pasadena in our current condo. We will miss it when we move.
All of these activities were sprinkled with trips to Descanso Gardnes in La Canada, a few trips to Huntington Gardnes in Pasadena, Kidspace in Pasadena, and swim lessons at the end of the school year at Waterworks Aquatics in Pasadena. And there were of course many trips up to Santa Barbara where we went to the zoo and Fabulous Fridays at the library.