Saturday, April 14, 2012

*our Princess is 4*

Kendall turned four last Friday....I can't believe my BABY is four!

I know, I know, it's cliche, but where does time go??? She is the funniest, sweetest, cutest, kindest little girl I know-she seriously cracks us up daily! I don't where she gets it. She's so girlie, too. but can get down and dirty with her brothers, as well. She loves dresses, n 3-4 times a day, loves anything princess-y, books, dolls, Dora the Explorer, bath time, nail polish, shoes, shopping, phones, Lucy the dog, being outside, Taco Bell, cooking, helping, being with us, Miss Social Butterfly...

So for her birthday, we had to have a Princess Party for sure...she had 5 little friends come, they decorated crowns, played princess, had their nails done, decorated princess cookies, ate lunch, played some more...we had so much fun! Everything was pink!

Kendall also had her family party the night before, on her actual birthday, with pizza and cake and cousins.

During the day, she had a Mommy Date and went for her first pedicure! Her Daddy date was frozen yogurt (another fav!) Happy birthday, sweet girl!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

*Nature Girl...not so much...*

It's Book Club time for From Left to Write! Come read our posts!

Trish Herr's then five year old daughter Alex wanted to hike all 48 of New Hampshire's 4,000+ foot mountains. Would you let your five year old do the same? Join From Left to Write on April 12 as we discuss Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
I really enjoyed this book! I am kind of inspired to take my own kids on a long(ish) hike...anyone have any suggestions for Northern California???
I so wish I was more of a nature girl! I love the idea of adventure, of being able to name all kinds of flowers and leaves, and being able to recognize a bird by its call..but the truth is, I'm not. The idea of the day hikes that Trish took her young daughters on-more gentle slopes, not much mountain climbing-appeals to me. I can picture my own energetic kids doing this and loving it! They seemed to have endless energy bounding around the hills around the Golden Gate last weekend, searching for great views and learning about military history.
However, honestly, the thought of a big backpack of supplies, setting up camp on a trail somewhere, does not interest me at all! I took a semi-nightmarish backpacking trip my senior year of college. My roommates and I agreed to go along with some more athletic friends on a trip through the Santa Barbara mountains. Supposedly they had connected with park rangers about an "easier" trail for us newbies. Apparently, there was a mix up because several hours in, we found ourselves hiking on the side of a mountain-I don't even think it was a real trail. I just remember thinking that one false step, and I would be sent careening down the steep sides.
Later that evening, we couldn't find an agreeable camp site before nightfall, so we set up camp by flashlight, all the while pumping our water supply so we wouldn't get giardia...
The weekend progressed...I'll spare you the details, but it involved the pump breaking, bathroom trips in the woods (a Port a Pottie would have been wonderful right about then!) and walking next to a rattlesnake that miraculously didn't strike. My friend Charlotte and I were asking cluelessly, "Does anyone hear a rattle? What is that?", as the rest of the group froze, panic on their faces.
I remember making it home, throwing down my "Beverly Hillbillies" backpack-my school backpack and sleeping bag rolled onto my back with rope (classy, right?), calling my mom immediately and telling her, "If I ever tell you that I am going backpacking again, please forbid me!"
Since then, I have stuck with car camping-parking and setting up camp right next to the car. My husband and I have camped with the the backyard...but I would really like to venture out to camp this summer! Maybe I'm not a nature girl, but I do owe it to my children to expose them to nature! Maybe they'll like the idea of backpacking someday...with someone other than mom!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

*Family Time*

Seriously, taking vacations-even short vacations-is such a memory maker for a family! I love love taking little trips with my kids! We have so much fun recounting those times together. I wish we could afford more elaborate trips, but at this stage of our life, we're cannot. And that's OK. We are lucky to live in Vacation State-California! Over Spring Break, we headed to San Francisco for a few days. We've been there before a couple times as a family-but we wanted to do more, including the touristy stuff. Our wonderful friend Steph lives there and has shown us so many great not so touristy places, but we wanted to take the kiddos to Chinatown,

Pier 39,

Golden Gate,

Discovery Center in Sausalito. So we did! And we had fun! Including a middle of the night fire alarm at our hotel! Always an adventure! And we ate such great food-real Chinese food in a quiet, fancy restaurant overlooking Chinatown's busy streets, hot clam chowder in a bread bowl, huge breakfast-the KEY we've learned for traveling with children. Stuff them with a big breakfast and they don't complain of hunger for hours!
Love this family of mine!