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Family and Festival Fun

posted by harlie in family, fun

We just spent a whirlwind weekend in Texas, visiting family and becoming godparents to one of our totally adorable nephews. We flew in Friday evening and left Sunday afternoon, so we didn’t get a ton of time with everyone, but we tried to make the most of it.

While the big deal for the grown-ups was the baptism and I personally loved watching the kids all play in my mom’s garden (slowly becoming overrun with gnomes, ceramic animals and other various knickknacks…so great!), I think it’s fair to say that the highlight for the kids this weekend (other than getting to play with all their cousins, which is a rarity) was the Pumpkin Hallows Fall Festival.

We weren’t quite sure what to expect and I was a bit wary. The only website info I could find about it was on Craigslist. Now, I have had perfectly fine experiences with Craigslist, but it’s also an attractor for a lot of sketchiness. Still, we decided it was worth checking out. The event happened to be right down the road from my parents’ house so we didn’t have far to go (and come back) if it wasn’t quite legit and it’s a pretty nice area which generally doesn’t attract a ton of sketch. Plus, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a big family holiday outing.

We got there and it wasn’t just fine — it was great! No sketchiness to be found anywhere. It wasn’t the largest festival I’ve seen, but it was a great size for our group. The admission was very reasonable, plus kids 3 and under got in free. That meant almost all our munchkins got in gratis! A nice bonus. Everyone got a mini pumpkin for free (there were other, larger pumpkins for purchase if you wanted) and there was face painting and pumpkin carving. We all shared drinks, funnel cakes and caramel corn. There was even a petting zoo, but the rides were the big winners. There were pony rides (oh, man, did our kiddo love that!), twirly tea cups, slides, carousel swings and bouncy houses.

Lil’Man had never, ever been in a bouncy house — usually there are just too many big kids going crazy and even purposely crashing into each other, so I never felt safe letting him try one. However, there were several bouncy houses at this festival and most of the kids were playing in the biggest two. The smallest one was completely deserted! Lil’Man had it all to himself and he LOVED it.

I love that beautiful, beaming face radiating pure joy. He did really well jumping around considering he’s never been in one. He spent a good long time in there before I could coax him out with promises of a carousel ride. And funnel cake. I knew he’d love it — the kid’s a jumper.

The older kids liked all those rides, but it was the GIGANTIC slides they homed in on. When you hand over your ticket, you get a sack cloth to sit on so you’ll slide really fast on the way down (also prevents slide burn, because slide burn sucks). I totally would have gone up there if I weren’t pregnant. Seriously, carnival rides are awesome, but they are not a pregnant woman’s friend. However, I did go on one ride despite my mom’s loving, cautionary disapproval — the carousel swings that go round and round and round… They make the Mr queasy, but I could ride on those all day long. And it seems as if Lil’Man inherited that from me. He made his dad ride with him four times! I’d have gone with him instead (and totally wanted to!) but he kept asking his papa for the ride while I was getting food or a drink or taking photos of my nieces and nephew as they conquered the giant slides and, apparently, my boys could not wait for me. Lil’Man loved those swings more than the pony rides, which says a lot.

Anyhow, I took tons more photos and I’d love to share them, but…I didn’t take them with my camera. That was left at home because I didn’t want to deal with it on the plane. Hopefully my dad will kindly send us some of the photos I took of all the fun. Otherwise, I’ll have to raid his computer next time he visits (Love you, Dad!). Until then, enjoy the few iPhone photos above.


‡ On my side of the family, Lil’Man has about 6 cousins so far, all between the ages of 5 years and 8 months. It’s a good spread of ages, especially for Lil’Man who is pretty much right in the middle of the age range. He’s little enough to still relate some to the baby and the 1 year old, he’s old enough to play nicely with the 3 year olds and he is totally in awe of his 5 year old cousins. Especially his cousin Gabe (who, in return, is pretty happy to have another boy around since we apparently are overrun with girls at a ratio of just less than 2:1).

Oh, and there was a new puppy, Glory. Not a cousin, of course, put a significant addition to my brother’s family which was a huge deal to the kids. Lil’Man ranged from cautiously curious to wary to downright scared of Glory, but no matter. Since coming home, he has been dropping hints that we need to get a puppy, too. Hints like, “I want Papa to take me and our puppy fishing,” and, “I want to take our puppy to the zoo!” I’m so not ready for this.

 
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Hear ye! Hear ye!

posted by harlie in family, fun

I know…I know… I’ve been gone for well over a month. I’m sorry.

In one of the last few posts I wrote, I mentioned that I was overwhelmed by everything we had been doing: buying and moving into a new home while both working full-time tech jobs, replacing the flooring in the new house, packing up the house, flying across country just before our move, (the Mr) starting a new job as soon as we moved… Well, there was something that we didn’t tell you was also happening: I’m pregnant with kiddo #2!

That’s right! We’re expecting our own little cupid on Valentine’s Day next year!

As exciting as the past couple of months have been, it’s been exhausting as well and blogging simply had to take a backseat for a while. I have learned that morning sickness, hormone rollercoasters (hello, mood swings! Pray for the Mr, y’all.) and general sleepiness are much easier to deal with when you aren’t chasing a 2-year-old who seems to have gotten even MORE energetic and kinetic since his birthday. As if that were possible. (It is.) They tell you that all those symptoms fade as you enter your 2nd trimester. Lies. It’s all lies. Unfortunately, I’m one of those women who has morning sickness all day long and as I enter month five, there’s no sign of its subsiding. Since I was ill through most of my first pregnancy (and a little bit after), I’m not expecting it to be much different, but I was hoping it would be. I definitely know I’m more tired this time around. Not because being pregnant this time is more tiring, but because I have waaaaay less opportunity to rest. I have an adorable toddler who needs to be chased, snuggled, tickled and read to as much as possible. Yeah…I’m tired, but at least there’s an amazingly sweet reason for it.

I haven’t been the most consistent poster ever, but if you notice I’m a bit more sporadic than usual for while, please forgive me and don’t give up on reading. I have a huge backlog of posts in my blog queue plus tons of photos of the house and its progress that I want very much to share (especially for all you friends who are moving out of state…I miss you already!). I will post soon, I promise!

 
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Two is the new One!

posted by harlie in family, fun

Our Lil’Man turned 2 this past weekend! He got a whole weekend of celebration, but we spent his actual birthday at Fenton’s Creamery. It’s our favorite family-friendly restaurant in the Bay Area and we knew he’d love having his birthday there. We went with his Mimi and Grandpops for a late lunch. It was a bit low-key, but he was already having two parties with his classmates and his playgroup friends. We wanted some quality family time. Plus, if you go there on your birthday, the entire restaurant sings for you as they bring out your sundae with a candle on top! We knew he’d LOVE that. In fact, he asks that we sing to him before every meal now!

The celebrations are tapering off, but he still asks where his party is every now and then. Next year, kiddo…next year!

 
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Toddler How-to

posted by harlie in day-to-day, family, fun

Here, Lil’Man demonstrates the proper care and watering of one’s parents.

Step 1. Approach the parent slowly. They startle easily and will back away if you run up to them. If they are particularly skittish, consider making soothing, babbling sounds.

Step 2. Aim hose at the base and water until they are soaked. If they move away before you are done, repeat step 1.

If you are feeling particularly confident, you may try the more advanced technique of aiming directly at the head or torso. When successful, this generally has a more satisfying result; however, when applied unsuccessfully, it can lead to scolding and, possibly, having the hose requisitioned. Use this technique at your own risk.


Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

 
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Family Funday

posted by harlie in day-to-day, family, fun

ALL ABOARD!!!


It was almost as if Mothers’ Day came a week early in our house. On Saturday morning, I woke up to Lil’Man holding out a beautiful, shiny balloon as he excited yelled, “Wakey wakey, Mama!”. Of course, the balloon wasn’t FOR me, he merely wanted to show me what he picked out to SHARE. We played with the balloon for a bit (there may have been some tickling involved) and when I got up, the Mr. had a hot mocha and warm, flaky croissant waiting for me.

In the afternoon, we had a babysitter, so we got to see Iron Man 3 with a friend. Whooo! Yes, I choose to spend my adult time watching a superhero film taken from comic books while eating fatty, terribly overpriced foods. So. Much. Fun.

On Sunday, we went to ride the local steam trains. It’s one of my favorite things to do as a family. We weren’t sure when it opened and neglected to check online. We wound up arriving about 45 minutes early. We got a primo parking space, but we did have to wait a bit. We walked around, Lil’Man riding on his papa’s shoulders.

 
We also hung out in the bed of our truck for a bit and had some snacks.

 
After the trains, we hopped back into the truck to drive over to the carousel, but someone fell asleep in his car seat. The Mr and I grabbed a couple of hot dogs while he snoozed and then headed home. After a “rest time” during which Lil’Man woke up and played with his pacifiers for about an hour, there was lots of playing with Duplos, watching a Spanish for Toddlers dvd and reading boardbook after boardbook (often the same boardbook several times before moving on). After dinner and a bath, I got to rock Lil’Man to sleep. These days he’s just a bundle of kinetic energy: wiggling, running, squirming, kicking…just the life of your typical, energetic toddler, really. Other than naps, bedtime is the only time he’s willing to lie still and let me hold him in my arms for longer than a couple of seconds. He even wraps his little arms around me, as best he can, as he dozes off.

Then, some laundry-folding time with my sweetie, while he watches Game of Thrones and I try to keep up with the story without having to watch too much of the torture scenes. He patiently puts up with all the questions I have due to my not having watched previous seasons. Then to bed, with Lil’Man’s steady breathing over the monitors and the glow of the Mr’s iPad next to me.

It was a wonderful weekend.

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