January Recap

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January was a quiet month of events, the usual post holiday lull.  It was nice though as I got in a few shoots with Coop and his big ol’ blue eyes.  Jack also picked up the camera again and got some nice shots, but their are even better ones coming in the February recap.  We’ve been able to start giving both boys a bath at the same time which is fun but it requires a lot of attention from one if not both of us when we’re doing it as Jack still gets a little too aggressive with Coop, which he claims is him just loving Cooper.

December Recap

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As you can imagine December had a lot of Christmas oriented activities.  We went to the Descanso Enchanted Gardens again which Jack loved even more this year, we celebrated cousin Brody turning 1, we visited SB and Altadena for Taylor and Butcher Christmas celebrations, and we hosted a New Year dinner at our house that turned out to be a blazing time. We especially  enjoyed doing Christmas morning at our house and getting to do the Santa routine with Jack and watching the boys open some gifts from Sarah and me.

Trike-A-Thon

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Jack’s preschool held a fundraising event called the Trike-A-Thon.  The kids had practiced in the week leading up to it while also making posters and hats to go along with their event.  Jack even said he needed to get good sleep for the event and sadly for Sarah and me that just meant his usual sleep antics and routine.

One cute aspect was that before each class took their turn riding they would go out to the bike yard and cheer on another class along with all the parents and our phones/cameras. The classroom that went before Jack’s was a wild bunch of older kids that had elements of Mad Max in their attire and various bikes/scooters. What was funny that after that raucous group, out came Class 7, Jack’s class, and they were orderly and slow.  Luckily Jack got some courage after the first lap and broke the pack and started riding fast and ultimately probably did the most laps, but who’s counting, obviously not this competitive dad.

After the event the kids got to indulge in a well deserved popsicle. I’m not sure why but I caught Jack in one shot looking upset after opening his, must have been the color i’m guessing.  All in all it was a fun little 30 minute activity to be a part of and it’s always humorous seeing school mode Jack who’s way more timid and reserved.

Underwood Farms

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In December we went for a little adventure to Underwood Farms with Uncle Nick and Aunt Bryce but also with Cousin Bret, Sara, and little Brody. I’d heard this was one of those stereotypical young kid outing spots so I wasn’t overly excited at first but by the end of the day it was clear that we all had a blast.  There was a tractor ride that took us to the farm where we got to pick any food that was in season, there were all sorts of sweet animals to see and feed, good food, play areas, and of course great company. Jack was the perfect age for here but even the little guys had a blast.

November Recap

November (1 of 1)November was full of fun, family, and friends.  As we saw in past posts we had been to Disneyland and Jack had been very active photographing Can Jam in Santa Barbara.  The other highlights were an early Thanksgiving dinner with the Willoughby side of the fam.  My cousin and his family recently moved to Portland to work on his beard growth and develop an affinity for coffee and overcast weather.  Keegan was particularly smitten with Cooper and it’s clear next year she’ll have all the kids wrapped around her fingers.

We had our actual Thanksgiving up with the Ross clan where we got the super exciting news that Aaron and Courtney are going to have their first kid, sadly the only moment we caught of that reveal was a quick hip shot I took when they surprised us, but you can see the joy in Courtney’s face. After Thanksgiving we headed back to SB to get to spend more quality time with Uncle Ben, Aunt Megan, and Uncle Ned, oh and those grandparents the boys like too.

The month ended with us doing our annual Christmas tree purchase with the Ungers, a special time we’ve done for at least 5 years now but the first time we didn’t get to buy it at classy OSH. I should also point out that Jack started getting Highlights magazines which has really been awesome, he loves the surprise of when they arrive but he really loves all the activities and stories in each one.  I don’t think I could have been prepared for how much we all enjoy that subscription.

August 2018 Recap

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We get it, it’s been forever since we posted a monthly recap, but you need not worry, we’re back in the game.  It hasn’t been that we stopped our daily photos, it’s just we stopped cataloging them daily and wound up with months worth of undated photos we had to organize and title, a brutal task.  But we did it and our marriage survived so we should be getting the backload of monthly recaps in the next week, exciting stuff I know.

So August, I almost had a hard time remembering what all happened.  For one I was on my last few days of paternity leave so Jack and I did some housework including painting a door, he did a great job and also helped get the door back together.  Jack and Addie continued to maintain their deep friendship and we also enjoyed having the Sunday dinner crew over to our house for music and fun.  We celebrated Courtney’s birthday with the Ross clan down at the Ballast Point Brewery where they all got a heavy dose of Coop and Jack.  We had our last fun week day breakfast outing and I said goodbye to my paternity beard. Crazy to think 4 months are gone but even more wild is that we have 5 more recaps to go until we’re caught back up. The last photo in the bunch is also one of my favorite photos.

Jack Photo Series Pt.2

Jack Shots Header (1 of 1)There are days where Jack will come up to me and say “can i take pictures?” I can’t help but indulge him and let him take helm of the camera and only time will tell if the lens and camera survive with him at the helm.  He’s moved beyond using the screen and now actually uses the view finder.  I’ve tried to include some of his best shots over the last 4 months (some which I think are great) as well as some shots that give you a more real taste of what the bulk of his shots are. I haven’t cropped any so you get an idea of his composition but I did do some basic post edits. Here’s about 30 (of what was probably 300 shots) photos that include – a dodgers game, walking in SB, playing can jam, going on a hike in spain (like mimi and papa) and our trip to Underwood Farms.

Jack’s First Trip to Disneyland!

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Well, we finally did it. We bit the bullet and took Jack to Disneyland, and let me tell you it was absolutely worth it.  We decided to time the trip for a day when the ever-generous Mimi and Grandpa could watch Coop.  We had just been through the Halloween and Thanksgiving season, and Jack had loved those two holidays, so we thought his first trip to Disneyland coupled with X-mas decorations would make an ideal first trip.

We didn’t let Jack in on the plans until the morning of, and we got some hilarious video of him saying he didn’t want to go, without any idea of what he was getting into–I can totally understand!  Luckily, as we drove closer to Disneyland he got more and more excited.

Seeing Disneyland from a 3-year-old’s perspective was exhilarating as even little things like parking on Donald Duck’s level meant pure excitement.

Once in the park we made sure to snap a quick intro photo, which were rushed as we had been warned to try and get over to It’s a Small World as soon as possible to avoid a long line there.  We popped into the first little store, though, in order to make sure we got Jack his 1st Visit pin.  For a kid that’s overly partial about his shoes and hats and rarely keeps either on for an extended period, Jack never once tried to take that pin off.

Once properly pinned we bolted over to It’s a Small World and if you follow the photos, Jack’s face told an amazing story of bewilderment to awe to excitement as he got comfortable on the ride.  Next we stopped in for the Tea Cups and Jack had the time of his life riding that, laughing over and over again about us possibly spinning into another cup.  He loved getting to pick the color of the tea cup, a theme that lasted throughout the day.

While going from ride to ride he started talking about characters, and for whatever reason, he decided that Pluto was the character he wanted to meet that day.  While Sarah took care of business at the Baby Center (thank you Disneyland for having a place for moms to pump), Jack and I cruised over to Toon Town where Jack had a hilarious interaction with Pluto, that character knew just how to get a timid kid laughing.  While there Jack then decided to also meet Mickey and Donald.

Sarah here: When I joined the crew in Toon Town we were able to head over to to the Christmas parade. Jack got a nice view on Brandon’s shoulders, and we all treated ourselves to Dole Whips after the parade. Soon after, Jack also got a chance to try his luck at the sword in the stone. No luck this year! We were able to go on more rides as it got darker, and it was such a treat to see all of Disneyland covered in extra lights for Christmas. It was a pretty magical day.

Rides – we never waited more than 25 minutes for any rides and most were only 10-15 minutes.

  • It’s A Small World – Our first ride that was all decorated for Christmas
  • Teacups – Jack had a blast wondering if we would hit the wall
  • Buzz Light Year Ride – Jack may have gotten more points than me (Sarah)
  • Autopia – Jack got to drive, and he was very serious about it
  • Tiki Room – Jack was enthralled the entire time by singing birds and plants
  • Jungle Cruise – There is still some element of thrill in this ride for kids
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – Jack admitted it was scary but didn’t ever say he wanted off the ride or wanted to close his eyes
  • Who Framed Roger Rabit – Surprisingly had one of the longer lines and tougher fast passes.
  • Pinocchio – This ride was scarier than I remembered; luckily Jack didn’t seem to phased by it
  • Alice in Wonderland – We learned that this is one of the top kids rides at the park. It has an indoor and outdoor portion which, admittedly, was cool
  • Some non-ride activities we got in were trying the Sword in the Stone, watching It’s a Small World’s Christmas lights turn on, going into Mickey’s House, playing in the Tarzan Tree House, and lunch at Bear Country.

So all in all an incredible day at Disneyland not just for Jack but for all of us.  We should also mention that the night before Coop had slept awfully and I’d guess we didn’t get more than 4 hours of sleep that night.  Amazing what some Disneyland and copious amounts of coffee and sugar can do for you.