July, 2009

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Stand Up Kiddos

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Wow, that didn’t take long. It may have taken Jack and Ella a while to master crawling, but they picked up standing up in no time.  One day they were still trying to figure things out, and the next they were standing up in their cribs squealing back and forth at each other.  After Ella figured out the whole standing up thing, Jack picked it up in less than a day. They are both very proud of themselves for figuring out this whole standing thing. I’m sure it won’t be long until they’re walking and running around.  Super.

Here’s what bedtime looked like last night:

Standing Babies


Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

A few weekends back marked our first trip to Sedona with the little ones, and we had a great time in the desert with my mom.  It’s been crazy around here (between work and babies) so I haven’t had much time to sit down and write up a recap, but I’ve got a couple of minutes so here goes.

It always sounds like a great idea to start our long drives after I get off work. Driving while the babies are asleep is nice, but finishing up a seven-hour drive at 3a.m. is not a lot of fun. Traffic was light, but Shae and I were both completely exhausted by the time we got to Sedona and checked in. The babies, of course, were well rested at 3a.m. and were ready to play as soon as we put them in their Pack-N-Plays.  Fun times.

Just like our last trip (up to the parents’ for the 4th of July), we spent most of our first day trying to get some sleep and recover from the drive.  It finally occurred to me that by the time we’re done resting up from our late night drives we’re ready to go about the same time we would be rolling into town if we just left in the morning.  Anyway, after some rest we still managed to get in some fun on our first day.

We headed on over to Safeway to pick up some food for the weekend.  About three minutes after we walked in, a woman came running into the store yelling “Security! SECURITY!!! I Need Security! There’s a fight in the parking lot!” After I got over the shock of someone running into a Safeway expecting to find a security guard (the closest she got was the guy who picks up the carts from the parking lot), I did the only logical thing: I ran out into the parking lot to see what was going on.  I didn’t get to see the real excitement, but apparently two women in their 60’s had gotten into a tussle. One of the women was standing in the parking lot telling anyone who would listen how horrible the other lady was. I don’t know what actually happened, but I like to think one lady yelled at the other for driving too fast in the parking lot and chaos ensued.  As we were leaving the store with our goodies, lady #1 was retelling her side of the story to a local cop.  Quite the exciting trip to the Sedona Safeway.  Our trip was off to a good start.

Somehow, we actually managed to get up and out of our room early enough to go on a hike Friday morning. After consulting the book of hikes, my mom and Shae decided on a nice, easy morning stroll. We drove a few miles to the trail head, threw the babies into their hiking backpacks, and started off on our adventure.  The hike was supposed to be a short little 0.6 mile walk (0.3 each way), but of course we somehow turned it into a 1.5 mile trip. Apparently, we were just supposed to go to a random fork in the trail and turn around but we didn’t get the memo so we kept on going for a while. Our hike was much better. The extra mile or so turned what might have been a boring little stroll into a great trek down to a creek. Definitely worth the extra walking. The kids didn’t seem to mind, especially since they both fell asleep about 10 steps into the trip back to the car.  They live a tough life.

After we got back to the room, we took a short break and then headed over to the pool.  There are two pools at the resort: the adults pool and the kids pool. Obviously, we had never spent any time at the kiddie pool (they seem to think I’m old enough to hang out with the adults) so this was our first experience there.  Jack had a great time in the water (again). He was happy to splash and squeal and generally just have fun. Ella, on the other hand, just kind of floated around and relaxed. She wasn’t unhappy, but she didn’t seem to be having a lot of fun either. That is, until she found a boy. A 4-year-old (or so) boy who was at the pool swam up to Ella and she got SUPER excited.  She started bouncing in her floaty and squealing and having a great time. He kind of pulled her around the pool for a while and she had the biggest smile on her face. I’ve said it before, but my daughter is already boy crazy. I am terrified of what she’s going to be like as a teenager. That is going to be awesome. I can’t wait.

Once we got the babies home, fed, and asleep, Shae and I took advantage of our babysitter and went out to dinner.  As always, it was great to be able to get out for a few hours alone. After dinner, we got in a nice nap and then decided to hit up the Sedona movie scene. I can’t do the whole experience justice, so here are the highlights:

  • Just after we parked, a couple parked next to us in a little, tiny Scion. Nothing unusual about that, except this couple was very…ummm…huge.  The guy had a shirt on that said, “I’m Not Big, You’re Small”. I would have to disagree with his shirt.
  • The Scion couple got out of their car carrying an empty popcorn bucket and two huge soda cups. This seemed odd to us, but then we noticed almost everyone was carrying buckets and cups.  Apparently the theater in Sedona has a program that allows you to bring in your bucket and cup and get cheap(er) refills. Nice.
  • We saw a woman actually wearing a Bumpit. If you don’t know what a Bumpit is, you should watch the commercial. Hers was so awesome you could actually see the Bumpit in her hair.
  • The 13-year-old kid across the aisle from us was wearing sunglasses. In a movie theater. At 10:30 at night. I guess he was trying to look cool. It didn’t work.  It takes a lot more than sunglasses to look cool when you’re watching Harry Potter with your mom.

Since we were on vacation, we ended up eating out with the babies a lot more often than we normally do.  On Saturday we finally had our first experience with a restaurant that did not welcome the kiddos. We had eaten at the Cowboy Club before, and it’s a pretty loud place where the babies should have fit right in. We walked in and said we need a table for three with two high chairs, and immediately the hostess ran over to the manager who came right over and said it would be 30-45 minutes in such a way that it was clear he would rather we didn’t wait. Very weird, but oh well.  The place across the street had no problem finding a table for us so I guess we have a new place to eat. I know it can be annoying to have babies in a restaurant, but Jack and Ella are still young enough that they don’t cause much trouble. I guess I have one less place in Sedona to pick from when figuring out where to eat. Should make our decisions easier.

When we were all stuffed, we headed back towards our resort but at the last second decided to take a trip up Schnebly Hill Road. Schnebly Hill road is a beautiful drive that ends up with a gorgeous view of the Sedona area.  The road is sort-of off road (very bumpy, but doesn’t require 4WD), so my mom had never made the drive before. It was definitely worth it, and I’m sure we’ll make the drive a few times in the years to come.

Well, now I know why we drive at night.  I’ll drive until 5a.m. next time, just as long as I don’t have a repeat of our drive home from Sedona.  The babies spent almost all of the drive screaming their heads off.  Shae sat in the back with them and fed them, played with them, talked to them, whatever she could think of.  Nothing worked. They just kept screaming. We changed Jack’s poopy diaper twice. Nope, more screaming. Not even a giant mango limeade from Sonic could salvage the drive (On a side note, why the hell wouldn’t Sonic have mango limeade on their menu? It’s awesome, why hide it? I want one right now. I’ll be back). It sucked, but eventually we made it home with a little bit of our sanity in tact.

Shae’s 50 Things

Monday, July 20th, 2009

My friend Anna has come up with a list of 50 things she wants to do before turning 30.  I think this is a great idea and have decided to come up with my own list.  Since my 30th birthday is in January, I am giving myself some extra time and hopefully I can have everything accomplished before I turn 31.

I have until January 28, 2011 to finish my list.

In Progress

  1. Get back down to wedding weight
  2. Go on a family vacation that does not involve meeting up with our parents (no offense parents)
  3. Finish my painting
  4. Finish 2nd edition of the family cookbook
  5. Do honeymoon scrapbook
  6. Finish Captain Adorable
  7. Enter photos into Del Mar Fair
  8. Try a new recipe every week
  9. Drink more water
  10. Re-do the front yard landscaping
  11. Have the kitchen redone!
  12. Paint the baseboards in our bathroom
  13. Put a door on the master bathroom
  14. Have photos of the kiddos framed
  15. Read a book, not listen to it.
  16. Learn to crochet
  17. Take the twins camping
  18. Geocache more.
  19. Make enough money for a new camera.
  20. Stick with Fly Lady for at least a year.
  21. Get a new computer
  22. Finish childproofing our house
  23. Read to the twins every night
  24. Clean out the office
  25. Clean out the sun room
  26. Finish painting the floor in the girl room
  27. Have a plan for the patio
  28. Replant my jade plant
  29. Paint the hall closet doors
  30. Paint the hallway
  31. Replace Bedroom fan
  32. Re-paint the buffet
  33. Have game night once a month
  34. Set up a home photo studio in the sunroom.
  35. Remove the shower door
  36. Make and sell a table
  37. Finish Pat’s quilt
  38. Start the twin’s quilts
  39. Have my car detailed
  40. Make another mirror
  41. Have my ring re-sized
  42. Finish decorating the living/dining room
  43. Have the Bob tire fixed
  44. Do a load of laundry every 2 days
  45. Make stepping stones with the twins
  46. Plan 1 year birthday party
  47. Take LB on a walk every other day… At least
  48. Make Ella’s knitted dress
  49. Do a family portrait
  50. Clean the man room

Splash Down

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

I guess it was bound to happen, but tonight both Jack and Ella discovered splashing in the bath.  Bath-time was going pretty well, and then Jack realized that if he hit the water it created a splash. That was so much fun that he decided to try it with a toy in his hand. That was even better, so he tried toys in both hands at the same time. Let’s just say Jack thoroughly enjoyed himself, Ella tried to see how loud she could scream, and Shae and I got soaked.

Never one to let her brother have all the fun, Ella finally decided she would try the whole splashing thing too. That’s when the fun really started. For the next 5-10 minutes the twins sat in the tub and splashed each other while Ella squealed (and I swear after an especially loud on she said “sorry”). Fun times. I think bath time just got a lot more exciting.

Scootin’ Kiddos

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Just thought I’d chime in with another update on the babies. They are nine-months old, and it’s hard to believe we’re closing in on a year already. My, how time flies.

Both Ella and Jack are crawling all over the place. Ella has mastered the more traditional crawl, while Jackson prefers the army-crawl. Ella scoots all over the house pretty well, but when Jack sees something he wants (a fan, power cords, etc.) he can get there surprisingly quick. They’re also both sitting up on their own. Even though they’ve been at it for a while, it is still funny to walk into their bedroom in the morning and find them sitting up “chatting”. Neither of them is walking yet, but they are both trying to pull themselves up and I wouldn’t be surprised if Shae walks in one morning to find one of them (most likely Ella) standing up in the crib.

Ella is a little terror. She loves to pick on her younger brother and take anything he’s got in his hands. Pacifiers, toys, bottles, whatever he has she wants. She’s also super-skinny. She eats and eats, but she just keeps getting taller and skinnier.

I hate to say it, but my son is kind of a pansy. In addition to getting picked on by his sister (although he has finally started fighting back and has almost mastered the hair-pull), he is terrified of loud noises. In the rare cases when we break out the vacuum, he cries and screams the whole time it’s on. He does the same thing whenever we have to turn on the air compressor to put air in the stroller tires, and he HATES it if Shae or I raise our voices at him or his sister (although he doesn’t seem to mind when we yell at Lunchbox). He is really sweet, but I sure hope he toughens up pretty soon.

That’s about it for now. We’re heading to Arizona for the weekend so hopefully we will have some more pictures of the kids swimming and riding in backpacks. It should be fun, and hopefully Shae and I will be able to get in some relaxation.

The 4th

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Last weekend marked our first 4th of July with Jack and Ella.  As much as I hate travelling on holiday weekends, I somehow got sucked into heading up to King City/Lockwood at the last minute.  There was a lot of driving, but the babies were big hits, and it was pretty fun.  Here’s a recap:

After the longest 3-day work-week I can imagine, I got to top it off with a 380-mile drive after work on Wednesday (with the stylish top-carrier strapped to the roof, of course). The traffic was pretty light considering the upcoming holiday, but a brush fire on the Grapevine slowed us down a lot and the trip ended up taking over seven hours. The fire was about five miles from Smokey Bear Rd., and I couldn’t help but think that maybe Smokey should stop telling us to prevent forest fires and take care of his own backyard. Oh well, what can you do? Eventually we got to Lockwood, dealt with upset babies (Ella did not like being moved into the Pack-N-Play in the middle of the night), and got a couple of hours of sleep.

Thursday was pretty quiet. We spent most of the day recovering from Wednesday’s drive and trying to get some sleep. Shae had a (paying) photo shoot in the morning, so she left the kids with me and went to take some pics. Luckily, I was able to pawn the kiddos off on Grandma Grace and Kat (Grace’s 17-year-old cousin who was visiting Lockwood and hitched a ride back to SD with us) and get in a nice, long nap. Outside of Shae sneaking in her own three hour nap later, not much else happened on Thursday.

Friday, however, was not quite as lazy. We decided to take the babies and Mr. Box down to Cayucos to go to the beach. Shae, myself, the babies, the Box, Shae’s parents, my mom, and Kat piled into two vehicles and headed down to play in the sand. It was a beautiful day down in Cayucos, and everyone had an awesome time…especially Lunchbox. In fact, I think I should turn things over to LB to recap his day.

Oh, my God! The beach was awesome! The humans told me that I would be able to run free, but of course once we got there they pointed to some stupid sign with a dog on a leash and said I was on lockdown. What a crock! Oh well, I was so happy to be able to get to go with everyone that I didn’t really care I had to walk the humans all day. Eventually we got the human babies (and all their crap…seriously, I have a leash and a collar, why do the babies need so much stuff?) out of the car and headed over to the beach. Daddy had a lot of trouble pushing the giant stroller through the sand, and he was taking forever to get close to the water. It wouldn’t have been that bad, but the sand was HOT. I mean really hot. My feet were burning up, and eventually Mom had to take me up to the cooler sand because someone finally noticed me “suggesting” we hurry (as in move quickly, not pee).

This seems like a good time to make sure everyone reading this understands how awesome sand is (the cool stuff, not that super hot crap…that SUCKS). I hadn’t been to the beach before and couldn’t believe it was full of soft dirt perfect for digging. How come the humans hid this from me for so long? We live in frickin’ San Diego! I’ve said it before, but my human parents are lame.

Anyway, my grandmas picked out the best spot on the beach, and then the humans set up blankets and towels for the babies and ate some food (I didn’t get any of course, although I asked very nicely). While they were eating, I noticed a lot of other dogs running around the beach without leashes. One dog was actually carrying his own leash in his mouth (Mom and Dad told me that’s not what the sign meant when it said dogs had to be on a leash, but the other dog didn’t seem to care). I pointed all of this out to my human parents, but they just ignored me (as usual). Once Dad was done eating, he and Grandma Jane took me on a walk down the beach. That’s when the fun really started.

Dad took me over to the ocean and let me play in the water. I just want to let everyone know you shouldn’t drink the ocean water. It’s gross, just trust me on this one. After a few minutes of playing in the water, I guess Dad and Grandma decided we were far enough from other people because I got let off my leash. AWESOME! The first thing I did was run up and say “hi” to a jogger. She didn’t mind, but Dad wasn’t too happy so I decided to behave before I got put back on my leash. To any dogs out there: stop reading right now and get to a beach. I got to play in the water (it’s fun to chase…way better than a lake where the water barely moves), chase after birds, run all over the cool, soft, wet sand, and even play with another dog for a little bit. I could barely contain myself. Eventually it was time to head back, so I had to go back on leash (but not before Mommy came over and got some pics of me playing). Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Back at “camp” (AKA three blankets and an umbrella), I decided if I couldn’t play in the water I’d do the next best thing: dig a giant hole. I got in trouble for kicking sand all over the babies, so I had to go away from camp and dig. Beach sand might just be the best digging sand ever. I dug, and dug (Kat helped me a little), and eventually had the perfect hole. Then, just for fun, I peed in it. Back to digging. A few minutes later I had a perfect hole again and it was time to take a break. The beach was exhausting, and I was pooped (not literally, and not in my hole…that would be gross). I can’t wait to go back to a beach, I hope the humans read this and take me sometime soon. Like tomorrow.


Wow…I guess LB had a lot to say about the beach. We’ll have to take him to one of the SD dog beaches sometime soon since he was so good at Cayucos.  The babies seemed to have fun (well, they got lots of sand all over so I’m assuming they had fun), and didn’t get burned (more than I can say for Shae, myself, and my mom). I’m not a huge beach guy, but it was a lot of fun.

Saturday (the 4th)
After our day at the beach, it was time for the babies to have their first 4th of July. It took us a while, but eventually we got packed up and moved the party into King City. After unpacking at my mom’s house, we headed over to San Lorenzo Park for Heritage Days (basically, the annual 4th of July car show/festival). The babies were dressed in some very patriotic outfits, and they got lots of attention. We did some visiting, had some Swiss sausage, and then went home so the munchkins could get some naps.

Saturday evening, we headed out to Vicki and Ed’s for some dinner (more Swiss sausage). Jack and Ella were quite the hit, especially Ella. She was sitting in the middle of the room “singing” and swinging her arms like the conductor of an orchestra. The ladies thought she was the cutest thing ever, while the guys sat in the other room and chatted. Jack was cute too, but Ella was the attention hog on Saturday. At one point, she crawled over to Shae and actually begged for some of Shae’s dessert. Seriously, she begged just like a dog (complete with puppy dog eyes). I was appalled when Shae actually gave her a taste of her dessert. We don’t reward LB for begging for food, why does Ella get a treat (Jack got some too, but I didn’t catch that one).

Sunday was another quiet day. Shae wanted to get a picture of Ella in some leg warmers for some photography/prop contest and got it in her head that the train tracks were the perfect place for the shot. My mom stood guard over LB and Jack, while I tried to keep Ella in one spot and limit the amount of railroad-track-rocks that made it into her mouth (I did better at keeping her in one spot than keeping rocks out of her mouth).

The rest of the day was pretty quiet. The babies took a couple of really good naps, and I actually completely forgot about them for a few hours. That was kind of nice. A few people stopped by to see the kids, but mostly it was a very laid back day.

After Ella and Jackson were down for the night, Shae and I snuck out to catch a movie. Just a slight rant here, but why do people think it’s OK to bring babies to R-rated movies (or any movie for that matter)? If I wanted to hear a baby cry, I could have stayed home and startled Jack. I really don’t understand why they allow parents to bring babies into theaters, but I really wish it would stop. Any theater that comes out with a policy that no babies/toddlers are allowed into movie showings (except for the “Mommy Movie” showings, and maybe the G-rated flicks) will have 100% of my movie business (assuming they actually play the movies I want to see). Either that, or make it more expensive to take a kid to a movie than to hire a baby-sitter. That would probably fix the problem too. OK, done with that rant.

Another travel day. After getting everything packed up, we loaded up the car (with extra cargo since we were giving Kat a ride back to SD), wedged Shae in between the babies, and hit the road. I somehow forgot we were driving on a Monday instead of a Sunday and timed our departure completely wrong (causing us to end up in LA at 4:00…great timing), but we got lucky and hit minimal traffic (all things considered). When got home, we discovered the house hadn’t cleaned itself up like we had hoped, but we were just happy to be back so we weren’t too hard on it.

That’s about it for our weekend. We’re still working on getting all of our pictures uploaded, but here’s some pics of our day at the beach. We’ll throw some more on this post in the next couple of days, and you can always check out our photo page.

New Host

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Well, we’re finally moved over to our new host. Hopefully things will go smoother now. We should have some 4th of July pics up in the next day or two.


Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Well, another weekend, another two days of site downtime. We’re moving off of our host as soon as I can get everything transferred.  Our 4th of July recap will have to wait until we move because I don’t feel like spending the time to write everything up and have it lost again the next time my hosting provider screws up.

As a teaser, we have babies and Mr. Box at the beach, crawling, sitting, and lots of other fun stuff to report from our travels.

Oh, and if anyone is ever looking for a web host do not use JustHost.com. Learn from my mistake, use anyone else. Hopefully we’ll be fully up and running in a couple of days.