Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ladera Learners

A few months ago, a mom in my Ladera group suggested starting a homeschool preschool program.  This idea fit perfectly in one of my and Gaivn's concerns for Colin.  We love that we are home with the boys, but we realize that Colin's getting to an age where he needs to be learning to interact with his peers on a more regular basis.  We talked briefly about sending him to preschool or some type of day program, but we aren't ready.  The idea of a homeschool environment seemed like a great solution!

We started meeting and formed a group of 8.  The Lil Ladera Learners.  After meeting a few times, I realized there were several other huge benefits to the group.  One of the major ones is exposing to Colin to the types of activities that I wouldn't think of or wouldn't have interest in doing.  Another is the idea of a better division of labor.  Gavin and I often prepare activites for Colin, but it's pretty annoying to spend an hour getting an activity ready that he spends 3 minutes on.  With a group, it's about the same amount of work, but more opportunity for it to be enjoyed.  Also, I've noticed that in a group, Colin seems to spend more time because he sees the other kids participating.

During our first week, Colin did way better than I was anticipating.  It's not that I thought he would be horrible, I was just concerned that the entire thing might be a little bit over his head.  It wasn't.  All of the kids seemed a little cautious at first.  The younger group, which has been Colin and two little girls, more than the older group.  Colin also participated really well in all of the activities.  He sat at the table and ate his snack.  He listened to the stories, he stacked blocks, painted, did puzzles and sang.  He 'shared' all of his blocks with one of his tablemates.

First moments of 'school'

First Classrom

Next generation Ladera Learners?

Did I mention we got T shirts? Cute!!

School Friends

Circle Time Board

Trying to stay clean and dry!

I am really excited about this opportunity.  I think it will amazing to watch Colin grow and learn with a group of kids his age.  I am so grateful that Gavin and I have the opportunity to be a part of this group.

Friday, September 19, 2014

In Illinois

I love where we live.  I love the weather, I love our home.  I (usually) love my job, our pets, our proximity to the beach, the mountains, the desert.  I even like being called a Californian.  I love our neighbors and the awesome people I've met in Ladera.

I miss being closer to family.

Our trip was fun because we got to spend so much time cuddling and playing with our family.

Aunt Faith and Uncle Craig

Aunt Cheryl

A very well attended bath
Swinging with Cousins

Reading with cousins and Buma


Baking with Buma

Sink Baths with Buma and Bupa

Bos with Buma
My favorite part of the trip was Colin with his cousins.  Several times a day he still tells me "Cousins, fun!"  Our trip renewed my commitment to making sure that Colin and Alex know about their family members who live far away and aren't seen often enough.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


It took Gavin and I a long time to decide when and how to baptize our sons.  Ultimately, our very wise priest gave me some good advice and insights so we loaded up the family and headed to Chicago.

Gavin's mom mentioned that they often invite godparents over to help dress the babies.  So we invited everyone over! Cheryl and Craig were staying with Gavin's family and Cori brought Patrick.

 Craig did a great job, although he did tell me after that he refrained from helping with the diaper because he thought learning on a child dressed all in white laying on a white bed was tempting fate.

When we got to the church, both boys wanted mommy snuggles.  My favorite!

We had met with the Parish Pastor earlier in the week.  I really liked Father Dennis.  He had some excellent insight for me and I appreciated his honesty and compassion for our family.

Because of our time constraints we had a private baptism.  It was a beautiful event for just the boys and our families.  He shared some beautiful words with us, encouraging us to be good examples to our children and reminded us of our solemn responsbility in raising them. He reminded us that we had the support and love of not only their godparents, but everyone gathered and the entire Christian community.

During the service, Father Dennis also included the babies we never met.

 Alex was not a fan of the actual baptism.  The water went in his eyes, but he quickly calmed down.

 Colin was fascinated and immediately after the baptism was complete looked at me and said 'Again!'.  Sorry Colin, we acknoweldge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. :)

 It was a beautiful ceremony and I was overwhelmed with the love and prayers surrounded our family.  We were so honored that both sets of godparents were able to attend.  What a beautiful day to celebrate our precious boys!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Come Fly with me!

Colin was very excited for our trip to Chicago.  He was especially excited about going on an airplane.  Mommy was slightly less excited about loading up the family for a plane trip, but I made a plan and we were off!

My preperation for the flight was pretty much all about Colin.  I assuemd Alex would either eat, sleep or cry and there wasn't really much else I could do.

I choose Sleep.
 For Colin, I had a list of twenty activities and I estimated that I could hope for about 15 mins from each (some more, and some less, obviously).  I bought a bunch of stuff  at Target and put it in bags to be pulled out one at a time.

I didn't have a great plan for the airport, but we did fine.  We ate and walked around and looked at the planes.

For this flight, we purchased Colin his own seat.  Colin in his big guy seat!

Colin ate and then fell asleep!!  It was awesome!  Meanwhile, super mom did it all. (If you can't tell in this picture, I have like an inch or two of my seat... oh well.

The flight was super easy.  We just kind of went along with Colin.  We also loaded up some shows on the iPad and I downloaded a few new apps.  I know it sounds crazy, but the flight was actually fun!

So I suppose I should have expected that our return flight (in the morning instead of during nap time) would be a wreck, but honestly, I just kind of went with it, and the boys did AWESOME!
 We had to wake up super early for our 8:30 am flight, but Auntie Cheryl went with us to the airport and through security.  Always grateful for a few more hands!

Colin fell asleep again!  It was fantastic!!  Infact, it was so peacefull, that I took a nap!  Pause and let the amazingness of that sink in... I was flying with two little people and I was able to take a brief nap.  Seriously, magical.
 I was nervous about the flight, and I know they might not all go so smoothly, but it was so great that the boys did so well.  I love my little guys!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Alex is 3 months!!

One of the only baby books Gavin and I read was "Happiest Baby on the Block."  It's been quite a while since I read it, but besides the S's what stuck with me the most was the concept of the 4th trimester.  It's done several things for me.  For one; it gives me a solid three months that I still count myself as 'pregnant'.  Meaning that I'm not allowed to stress out (much) about what I'm eating or how I look in my swimsuit, etc.  Plus, it stops me from expecting too much from my little guy.  And in my experience, it seems accruate.  It's just been in the last few weeks that Alex has really been 'waking up.'

Height: Not sure since last appointment, but not a small guy!

Weight: Same as above. :)

Clothing Size: 3 months, 3-6 months

Diaper Size: Size 2

Eating: He nurses on demand, about every three hours or so during the day.  When I'm gone he has 3 oz in a bottle every three hours.

Sleeping:  Not bad! He takes a long nap during the day (during Colin's nap this week, yay!!!) and usually sleeps a solid 6 hour stretch at some point during the night.  He is still sleeping in the rock and play, but I know it's not going to last too much longer.  He loves sleeping in the sling and will sleep in his carseat when necessary, although not always happily.  He is still swaddled and goes between wanting his left arm out or both arms wrapped.  Now that he's rolling, the swaddle days are limited!!

New Skills: Smiles and laughter!  He's also pretty busy about his tummy time.  He loves to watch his big brother run around. He loves having his nose and forehead tickled and staring at the ceiling fan.  He also rolled over for the first time the day before his turned three months old! Way to go!

Alex, you are such a beautiful boy and I love having you in our family. Thank you for being such an easy going little guy.  I love you always, my little star!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mom's Blinks: I'm the Letter T

During a recent trip to Grandma's house, Grandma and Colin watched a few segments of a Sesame Street Episode together.  Elmo is a favorite around our house and it was very fun for Colin.

One day after we had arrived home, I was unloading Colin from the car when he started very insistently saying "T, ta ta ta, T ta ta ta."  I was extremely confused until I stopped and listened to the radio.  Delilah by the Plain White T's was playing.

Colin and Grandma had been enjoying this quite clever Sesame Street Video: "I'm the Letter T"

Ever since, any time he hears that song, he tells me what sound T makes.  It's absolutely adorable, so the Plan White T's are getting some pretty serious play time around here! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ladera Concerts 2014

Every summer our neighborhood hosts a series of concerts in the park.  This year we made it to most of them and had so much fun!!

We got to hang out with all kinds of friends!  Dr Lisa and Chris came down for one along with Chris' sister and daughter.  Grandma came to two of the concerts, and Grandpa came to one.  Jackson and his family came to several of them and we sat with some new friends and played at another.  Mommy was even brave enough to head out to one of them on her own without daddy!

Pretty much any even that involves outside, friends, and food is going to be high on Colin's list of good ideas! :)

We had such a fantastic time, and it really made be grateful that we live in such a beautiful and family friendly area.  We can hardly wait until next year!!