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.


July 2018 Recap

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Well it has certainly taken me long enough but the July recap is finally here.  I received numerous emails, calls, texts, faxes, you name it, and the constant nagging finally got me to sit down and upload these shots.  Part of the problem is that July had so much going on. We already posted about Jack’s 3rd birthday party, our Cambria trip, and Jack and Elodie’s burgeoning love affair.

July had us in Santa Barbara getting to take advantage of Grandpa lullabies, drinks in the funkzone, night time stories from Mimi, pant-less biscuits and so much more. After that it was pack to the ‘dena to celebrate Brycie’s birthday and lots of pool time at JoJo and Papa’s house.  The biggest take away from summer being over has to be how much fun we all had just popping into the pool nearly daily for even just 30 minutes or a few hours.

We sadly had one last cousin hangout before my cousin Gavin and his girls shipped off to Portland to focus on craft brewing, pour over coffees, and facial hair growth. It’s been sad with them gone but we’re looking forward to the time together over the coming holidays. The girls were especially interested and sweet with little Coop.

Hopefully this post provides some momentum and I’ll get the August recap up soon, but who knows I might pull a George R.R. Martin and take my sweet time on the next installment.

Pumpkin Carving

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Jack, and technically Cooper too, got to experience pumpkin carving for the first time.  Jack’s been eager ever since we bought a carving kit from Big Lots weeks ago when I took him out of pre-school for 2 hours to avoid a nap in hopes of him sleeping at a regular hour, but I digress. We headed up to my parents for the BYOP event and were surprised when there was sushi and cupcakes (eaten separately don’t worry) for a mini double birthday celebration for Sarah and Nick who share a birthday week.  Carving was a ton of fun with Bryce obviously showing off her art skills while the rest of us just tried not to cut a finger off while carving. Jack dictated exactly what he wanted his to look like then set himself to helping scoop out all the goop and seeds with JoJo and Nick, but we all really leaned on Nick as our super scooper.  Cooper had a lot of fun bouncing from person to person and especially enjoyed Papa’s high vantage point on his shoulders and riding his first tricycle.  Cooper and Nick even secretly decided to do some twinning and coordinated their outfits for the day, so cute. When Jack was 3 months old we took photos of him in the pumpkins at my parents front door so we tried to re-create something similar this year with Coop.  Jack’s been loving the fall/Halloween season and has a lot more fun Halloween activities still to come at his PCC school and his pre-school on top of boring old trick or treating.  If the excitement for Halloween is any indicator this Christmas season should be epic for Jack.

Courting Elodie

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Jack and Elodie have had a thing going ever since Elodie hosted Jack for vacation   in Charlottesville, VA last July. While there they hit the local pool, took their parents wine tasting, ate at fine dining establishments, and enjoyed the plethora of flavors of ice cream and fro-yo in town.

Sadly living on separate coasts meant they had to work extra hard on maintaining their relationship once the vacation was over.  I think they both knew the long-distance thing was going to be tough but what 2 or 3 year old is truly prepared enough.  Elodie has really put in her effort in by mailing cards, letters, and drawings for Jack.  Jack on the other hand has been methodically planning on how to further woo her on their next in person visit.

They finally got their much needed re-connection this July when the two of them both went to Santa Barbara to see their grandparents.  The meet-up was scheduled for Chase Palm Park and it was clear from the start the two needed some warming up.  Jack thought it best to start with some snacks and he came out strong by trying to show Elodie he could eat 2 protein bars packed with 21 grams of protein each, Elodie however was not impressed at first.

Once they were adequately satiated it was time to get a group photo with the mommies and for Jack to show off his little brother Coop.  Jack thought that this gesture of sharing his little brother and showing off how the polaroid from that day would impress, but it was clear Elodie was going to make Jack earn it.

Jack’s next tactic was to share his “treasures” which included having Elodie close her eyes while he “s’prised” her with a feather.  After bribery failed Jack knew he needed to take advantage of the spike of protein he was metabolizing and did so by showing off his rolling skills on both concrete and grass hills. Yet again, Jack was left hanging.

Being spurned got Jack thinking and he knew he needed to be a gentleman and pull out his last trick, the ever classic flower.  Sure enough Jack’s hard work, commitment, and chivalry paid off and he got that glimmer of interest out of Elodie that had been eluding him all morning.

With the special bond back together the two went off to meet their latest little buddy Chance, and see Sarah’s other good friend Laura who was also in town. It was clear from the group photos that Jack and Elodie were smitten with each other and they had a wonderful time showing off for the new babies.

Sadly the trip had to end and Elodie and Jack had to say their goodbyes yet again. Luckily Elodie and her family have moved closer and are now just a stone’s throw away in Salt Lake City, UT.  Jack is especially excited though, as Kristy and Elodie will be making a special visit down to Jack’s house this week and I’m sure these two will have a blast being back together again.