Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sleep over

Claxton had another play date/sleep over with his buddy Bentley. The two of them crack me up when they get together and even though sometimes it's several months in between visits, they just pick up where they left off with each other. They play really well together. Unfortunately the weather was less than cooperative so we ended up being indoors the whole time and at times it was VERY LOUD in the house. It didn't seem to bother anyone but me. This morning I fed them all breakfast and while they were eating I decided to make myself a smoothie. Would you believe they had the audacity to ask me to turn off the blender because it was too loud, it was hurting their ears. Seriously???? Apparently it was so unbearable that they had to cover their ears. It has never taken me as long to make a smoothie as it did this one....!!!!! Yummmmmmy, it was good.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Puppet Show

I took the kids down to the Center for Puppetry Arts and we saw the puppet show "Weather Rocks!" First, we attended a workshop where the kids made puppets and were able to put on a very short show (about 1 minute) with their puppets. All of the kids really got into it and it was fun to watch them.

That's the back of Claxton's head you see with his puppet.

Then we spent some time in the museum checking out all the puppets and especially enjoyed all of the Sesame Street characters.

Pretending to be Big Bird

Next, it was on to the show where we were entertained by songs, dancing and fun facts about weather. The creativity was truly amazing. Claxton absolutely loved it and can't wait to attend another event there. The show was a little long for Julia as it lasted about an hour, but we managed!

And all the way home the two of them sang to the top of their lungs the theme song - "We are the weather people, welcome to our show!" Over and over and over again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We're geocaching!

Some really good friends of ours introduced us to geocaching a few years ago. We enjoyed it so much we decided it was something we could start doing with our kids. So this past weekend we set out to find our first treasures. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and in search of one of the geocaches, we found a treasure that probably otherwise we would have never seen. We found two out of four geocaches on our first expedition, but more importantly we found it to be great fun for the whole family!

Our first find

Hanging out at the local town square

Claxton's favorite find of the day - "Mom, this fire hydrant is taller than me, it's so cool!"

Unexpected treasure

Looking a little lost

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Normally wo go to swim lessons on Monday, but since it's President's Day everyone is off for the holiday. So on a whim, we decided to have a family fun day at the INK Museum. There are many exhibits that allow the kids to get a real introduction to some every day things in life - a few of their favorites were the bank, the dentist office, a diner, and a beauty salon. Of course the antique fire engine and an airplane were big hits as well.

The ATM was neat in that upon arriving at the museum they gave the kids real ATM cards so when they went to the bank exhibit they would use it get cash (play money of course), but it actually functioned as a real ATM.

I think it's time to take her to the real dentist

This one frightens me just a little.

Serving up something yummy

If it has a button, it's gotta be pressed

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's activities

I'm just not the craftiest person around, but kids love crafts so I have to talk myself into more often than I really would like to do. Hopefully my kids will really, really appreciate it one day. So last week we did a couple of activities leading up to Valentine's. One day we got out all the red, white, and pink paints that we could find in our house along with a few marbles, a cardboard box and a large white heart. Boy the fun that can be had with just those few items!

On another day we made bookmarks...

The most fun was had making the special Valentine's dessert...every one was in on this one.

Of course everyone knows you can't make cake without tasting the batter

We had several events for the day. Claxton and I attended a birthday party in the morning, while Daddy and Julia enjoyed a lunch date together.

Ready for her date with Dad

I am told she insisted on riding the frog.

Daddy made dinner

Just a nice, quiet dinner at home with the family.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Short visit with Grandma

We headed south this past weekend to cheer up my mom and help her out a bit. She was recently in a wreck and has a broken pelvic bone. Thankfully she is doing fine, but will take a little time to heal. We warned the kids that she probably could not hold them like she usually does and that they could not crawl all over her. That lasted for all of about the first two minutes of being there. Mom was as eager to see the kids as they were her!

And when the day comes to an end and it's time for bedtime stories, if there's a grandmother around, then mom and dad can just forget about reading to the kids, in fact we dare not suggest otherwise.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Capturing the moment

Recently I've allowed Claxton to take photos with my camera. I know we've been a little late in the game with this activity, but there's no way Brian's going to let him play with his camera, and my small one is not very old. But, he's been asking so I finally broke down and let him. He walked around the house selecting very specific items to capture in his work. Here's some of his favorites:

Airplane remotes

The coasters

Sweet Julia

Fruit Bowl

Mom pouring milk

My head

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

That's the Pacific Ocean

We've been wanting to make it out to California for a while now to hang out and visit some family. It's been almost seven years since we've been married and Brian hasn't had the opportunity to visit since 2001 and we've never been together. While I've been to California several times, it's a first to the Santa Barbara area and Paso Robles. When we left home it was predicted to rain five out the of the seven days we were supposed to be there, but it only rained the first day. Otherwise it was gorgeous, just light sweater weather, but lots of sunshine as you would expect. It was a really nice time to catch up with relatives that we just don't get to see very often. We had talked to Claxton about going to the Pacific Ocean, so every time it came into sight, he exclaimed, "that's the Pacific Ocean, right Mom, right Dad?!" What a fun little traveler he has become!

Highlights of the trip according to Claxton: Seeing Sammy the Seal (the elephant seals), going to the Pacific ocean (even though he could only put his toes in), riding on a trolley, riding on the ferris wheel at the pier, splashing in the puddles with Maddy and Aunt Sybil, and riding in the red jeep with Uncle Sal. Julia's list was a little shorter - playing with Maddy and her toys and going to the beach.

For me, it was absolutely wonderful to get away and have a break from our normal routine. Brian's uncle and aunt own a jeep tour business through wine country and they graciously offered to keep the kids for us one day so we could enjoy a tour. It was fantastic! If you make it out to that area, I highly recommend it, check them out at

Claxton has been begging me for weeks to play outside in the rain, but this time of year is just too cold. So I have promised him that when spring comes we will definitely play out in the rain sometime. Needless to say, he was thrilled when I told him on our first day of the trip that we could take a rain walk and that his job was to splash in every puddle he saw. And splash he did!

Julia did her fair share of splashing too.

Playing at the fountain in Ojai

Claxton and Maddy getting ready to race to the next big puddle...

Before we made the track back home, we stopped by the local ice cream shop for a special treat. Let me tell you that these three perched up on these window seats were show stoppers in the town of Ojai on this day. There was absolutely nothing more adorable than watching these guys enjoy their treat. Every single person that passed by took a double take, commented amongst themselves on all the cuteness, and there were even a few that came inside to get a closer look at all this cuteness, who didn't even have ice cream on their radar for that day. I am certain we helped boost the ice cream sales that day. The pictures here just do not do justice, between the glare and the reflections from the cars on the street, the moment is not captured as well as it could have been. But, honestly, you'd have to be blind not to oooh and aaahhh just a little.

We finally made it to the ocean on our fourth day of the trip. And this is as close as mommy would let them go. Brrrr, this water is cold! They both practiced much self-control and only got their fingerstips wet.

A little lesson about shadows

God must have known to put these rocks on the beach to occupy those little ones with so much energy, otherwise they certainly would end up wet...and very cold, especially on a chilly, windy day at the beach! We could spend hours climbing on the rocks.

One of our stops was to observe the elephant seals. And they were LOUD!

The kids said this one had to be Sammy!

A few family photos...

This is at one of the wineries in Paso Robles.
Hanging with Uncle Sal

Uncle Sal rocks! He took us for a ride in jeep.

Another beach stop.

We spent one day in Santa Barbara, this is the crew hanging out on State Street.

A must do for Claxton was the trolley. He spotted one in Ojai on our first day and we didn't hear the end of it until we rode this one. I'm not quite sure if it's all he thought it would be or not, but for a quarter, it was worth it. Can check it off his list now.

I have no idea what is being said here, but certainly Dave and Maddy are amused!

I really wanted a cute photo of the three kids in front of the trolley, but herding cats would have been easier. This is the best one of the bunch.

It's my birthday!The last day was packed with activites. We left Ojai mid morning and made our way to the Pacific Coast Highway. We had promised one final stop at the beach before our trip ended. So we worked our way south to Santa Monica and spent a couple of hours at the pier and the beach.

Checking out Santa Monica from the top of the ferris wheel ride
They finally got to put their toes in the water, still cold, but much warmer than the previous days at the other beaches.

Notice Julia in this photo. I have no idea what possessed her to do this, but we just laughed hysterically as did some others who happened to be passing by! She'll just love us when we pull this one out again in about twenty years from now.

We needed to pass a little time before meeting up with some of my family for the evening. My cousin suggested that we check out the Skirball Cultural Center. Specifically they have a Noah's Ark exhibit that is ongoing with a myriad of interactive items and activities. What a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

A fun time was had by all. Now it's back to the grind with normal life and such. Claxton already wants to know when we are going back to the Pacific Ocean. Hopefully we'll make out it there again before another six or seven years pass.