Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pretend City

 Tawni and I took the boys to Pretend City in Irvine on Thursday (7/26).  Like the museum in Portland, this is a "please touch" place where they travel through a full city including the grocery store, bank, farm, house, theatre, beach, fire station, ocean front, Daphes' Cafe, dentist, doctors, library and an art studio.  All three of the boys LOVED it!  Tawni did a great write-up of it on her blog with details about each area--check it out!
 entrance with the "Reese" dog statue
 the grocery store

 weighing the produce was a big deal!
 The farm was Andrew's favorite (we went back several times). There were oranges and apples to pick off the trees and strawberries to pick out of the vines.  Lettuce grew out of the ground and the dirt bed had carrots and potatoes to "dig" up!
 I should have taken the big camera, but the constant blur of Andrew shows how much he moved.
 Sam with his pickings!
 In the construction zone with his safety jacket and Craftsman hat!
 Fire station!
 Beach (Andrew enjoyed climbing and and out of each car)!
 Gas Station Jeep (Andrew is trying to push Nate out of the drivers seat so he can drive, poor Nate).
 Daphes' Greek Cafe Kitchen
 Andrew was just a bit too short!
 The Library was a hit for Nate and Andrew.  They loved looking at the books and playing with the computer.
 He found the puzzle in the reading room of the library!
 The marina was, of course, a favorite. 
They had these adorable rain slickers to prevent the kids from getting soaked (didn't work for Andrew).
 fishing (really using the fishing pool as a tool to fling water all over the people behind us)
 trying really, really hard to be tall enough to reach the big kid area

 I caught a crab!
 Next up was the Dentist office and Doctor's office.  Andrew immediately found a tooth brush and knew what to do with it!

After the doctors, Andrew changed clothes and we ate our packed lunch (thanks Tawni!) at the "Real Cafe."  Free time was next--Andrew went straight back to the farm.

 After awhile, he wandered over to the theater.  It doesn't surprise me, but give my son a stage, some hip hop music, an instrument and an audience and he'll entertain himself (and others) for ever.  He danced with several older girl, tried on a princess costume or two and made a lot of noise with his drums and mariachi for well over thirty minutes (Sam and Nate played in the water).
All in all, this is a wonderful place to go.  If we lived closer I would totally buy a yearly membership!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

JCPenny's 15 Month Photos

 We took Andrew's fifteen month photos at Pennys this past week.  He was "on" in full smile mode (thankfully you can't tell he had a cry-fit for the hour before and several hours afterwards thanks to his molars) and we got so many good ones I had a hard time picking "just a few" which is how many I allowed myself to buy.  These are some of my favorites.

Did the picture above make you laugh?  Or make you look closer?  Yeah, the silly things that JCP does!  Andrew is in awe of the fairy godmother!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Andrew's First Year Book

first page

I made Andrew a "first year book" through Costco's photo center!  I have been struggling with keeping up with the photo album (frankly, I haven't put anything in their consistently since last August), the idea of scrap booking is appealing until I consider that I have a one year old, and while my blog is an online photo album of sorts, it isn't the same as having the pictures in front of you to flip through.  I looked into the ads that promise to turn your blog into a book (which seemed like the best idea in the world), but because I compress all the pictures I put online, the photos would all have to be re-uploaded into the book software.  Shutterfly and Snapfish were too expensive, so Costco had me.

Their 30 page books start at $29.99 and I knew that I wanted the entire year to be in one book. His book ended up being 34 pages. As part of sharing photos with my mom and mother-in-law, I have been uploading 50-60 of my favorites each month to Costco. When it came to building the book, I used the photos I had already uploaded which saved a bunch of time. I forced myself to pick my favorites from those (about 6-10 per month) and only did one double page for each month. I also did a separate page for each big holiday and two for both birth and birthday.

I take thousands of pictures, so choosing was hard, but I wanted to represent his year without being repeating (sort of like we would have done in the old days with film).  I built the book in spurts and could save it and come back.   The only downside of Costco (vs the other, more expensive, companies) was that I could not change the layouts or add a lot of text (the text boxes were already part of the layouts).
 our first moments together
 month six
 pumpkin patch with Brenda's beautiful pictures
 month 7 was a "photo light" month because between school busy-ness and Andrew's new sense of movement, there weren't many good ones!
 Let's eat cake!

I've already started his next book, but I've decided that I do not need a full year to fit into one book. 
I am going to do as many double-page spreads as I want :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chargers 5K

Saturday, July 21st was my fourth 5K of the year, The Bolt to the Q.  We were really excited to run with the Chargers, finish on the 50 yard line, meet some Chargers, and get some cool Chargers swag. The course was very difficult for me, but we made it in one hour and 3 minutes.  With the "after race" fun totally crazy and not enough finisher rewards, the day was a disappointment and the event was very poorly organized (we will opt to do the Phillip Rivers 5K next year instead of this one).  Our pictures will just cover the cool part :)

 at the starting line

 Almost at the finish line (can you tell that I am in major pain?!) when I thought my hip was going to simply detach itself and walk away

 walking into the tunnel onto the field

 on the field before we finished, we are on the jumbo screen!

 playing on the field

 melissa running for the touchdown
 playing catch with Andrew
 ready, set, hike!
 The Charger Girls were so nice! 
Andrew loved them, Melissa got to shake a pompom and Andrew scored several autographs.
We also got Ryan Matthews' autograph on Andrew's football, but the whole situation was so frustrating, I don't really care.  He didn't make eye contact, say hello, or anything to show that he cared thousands of people just participated in him 5K to raise money for HIS charity; the 5 year old next to me gushed about how "you're my favorite player ever" and Matthews didn't respond, just signed and moved onto another person... seriously, Matthews has just gone on to my Chargers I don't like list.