Sunday, May 29, 2011

Puzzles, motorcycles, paint and fairs

So I needed to get something done and so I threw a few three part people puzzles on the coffee table to get Sam occupied. I literally come back 20 seconds later and all fours puzzles are complete and he is placing them size by size. You draw your own conclusions... yes I know, he's amazing.

What could be better than a safety fair?!! Police cars, motorcycles, fire trucks, ambulances and any other vehicle you can think of come together to show case and show off. I don't think Sam could have expressed himself any better than what this picture captured.

Bliss, pure bliss. The only sad part was we made late in the day and a lot of the venders and vehicles were packing up. Next year no other plans will be made on this day.

This is one of our favorite activities. I really suggest it to anyone who has a toddler. It's so easy and despite how it looks, it's not that hard to clean up. Spill water on the floor and add food coloring or water colors. Keep a wet cloth nearby so when it splashes everywhere you can easily wipe it off. Sam loves swirling all the colors around. It's a great way to learn how colors mix. We took his cars and drove them in the water to make cool designs, we uses brushes and painted ourselves, and it was fun having a "big helper" wipe it up when we were done. Oh gosh, I love it so much I'll have to do it again tomorrow!

I live in the best community. Every month the mall puts on a family event where the kids get a free craft and snack. There is always a theme as well. This week was music and movement.After spending quite a while lifting and lowering the parachute on the kids, they rounded them up and trying bouncing a ball on top. Sam would not get out form under the parachute despite my various tactics. Fortunately the lady in charge sympathized with my dilemma and we all went back to lowering and lifting. I think all the kids had more fun with that activity anyway.

This is always his expression after one of theses events.

Sacramento County Fair. Here is the rundown: more life stock than your nose can handle and barely any community displays or commercial venders. I think it gets the shaft because the State Fair is in the same place. I was unaware how much people like their farm animals around here.

This is a great picture because Sam isn't troubled by the crocodile but instead wants the ice cream the unseen girl in front of him is enjoying.

Thank goodness for pink tractors.I think that made up for the lack of blue ribbon cookies and hand sewn quilts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yosemite. So magical.

The day after I arrived home from Southern California Hank, Sam and I headed to Yosemite! It was amazing!!! That place inspired me and now I feel re-energized because of our visit. It was incredible. Here we are in front of half-dome.

I leave it up to you to decide what Sam is doing here.

There was so much love being passed around our family while we were there.

This was at Mirror Lake. We tried hiking a bit but Sam just wanted to stop and throw rocks so we eventually gave up and just let him. That was more fun anyway.

Biking in Yosemite is just magical. Most of the trails have sequoias and pines towering over head and then every once in a while a majestic view opens up and you can't help but take a picture.

This was our first day there. We biked a lot and our last destination was at the Ahwahnee Hotel where we allowed Sam to roam free in the back gardens. He got very silly and passed this stick around to each of our mouths. His silliness was infectious and before we knew it we were running around singing loudly and tackling each other. There is something about Yosemite that just sparks happiness in you.

This is the hotel. It was built in the 1920's to house patrons of the park. Isn't it neat architecture?

On our way out we saw and deer and it wasn't afraid of us, we got really close. I guess it's used to people being around. I was so excited and yelled at Hank to get a picture. A lady who was an employee of the hotel was walking by and saw my excitement. She casually said "there's another one over there too" like it was no big deal. I guess I am not accustomed to mountain life.

Are you ready for the most incredible experience? Here we go; Hank and I did a tiny hike to the lower Yosemite Falls and after seeing how beautiful and powerful it was, there was no way we were going to stop. We headed for the top. Little did we both know how intense the hike was going to be.

Sam feel asleep at the beginning of the hike and took a short nap and then fell asleep at the end of the hike, that just shows how long this monster hike was. We started at 9ish and got back around 4ish. If I knew we were going to be crazy and spontaneous I would have packed more food. I guess that's the drawback of spontaneity.

The first view point on the hike, pale in comparison to the top. By the way Hank did the whole hike up 4 miles of steep switchback with Sam on his back and then basically 4 miles back because I am a wimp and didn't last very long with Sam on back. By the end his shirt was dripping with sweat.

The views of the falls kept us going and Sam's cute personality.

After hours and hours we made it!!! Sam was by far the youngest one at the top. Hank is amazing and so is that view!! Being in a place like that makes you realize how insignificant you are. I felt grateful and humble at the same time.

The view of Yosemite Falls. I feel tired just thinking about that hike but at the same time I want to go back. So often I find that some of the most difficult experiences are the most rewarding ones, they are always worth it.

Since Sam was a champion and allowed us to trek to the falls and back without too much complaining we bought him some dibs. I love that boy.

We also took him back to mirror lake where he could go swimming. Well that water is melted glacier water so he lasted about five minutes before he realized he couldn't feel his body. We spend the rest of the time throwing rocks in the lake.

This was one of my favorite moments (one of many) because Sam was so happy to be alive. He was being silly and we were laughing at him as well as helping find rocks to throw. We had had an exhausting day but oh so rewarding and now we were able to just enjoy each other. I love my family and man! I cannot wait to go back to Yosemite!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trip to So Cal

Hank, Sam and I took a little vacation to Southern California. Here we are celebrating my brother Daniel's birthday. As you can tell we had a really fun time.

My brother looks really cool in this picture. Here he is with his pretty girlfriend who is an absolute delight!

Hank went back home only after a day so Sam and I had a mid-week adventure. We went to the Underwood family Farms and picked strawberries among other things. I had fun but from this picture I am thinking Sam questioned the validity of the outing.

Another birthday dinner for Dan! Sam was acting so crazy. He watches a lot of home videos and sees his extended family in them a lot. I think seeing everyone in person made him feel like he was spending time with celebrities. He kept laughing to the no breathing point for no reason. Oh boy.

We had to spend a day in Santa Barbara with Anna. Bethany came along as well which makes everything more fun. Sam has taken a liking to Anna and her name was the first he pronounced "unt nana"

So Anna had these vanilla wafers and Sam kept going back for more so I told him he could only have one if he gave Anna kisses. He picked up on it immediately. He does what it takes to get food, plus he really likes seeing Anna laugh. Now he kisses on demand.

We walked to various places in Santa Barbara, one of which was this carousal. Pure joy, pure joy.

When we lived at home Bethany and I would have a cooking club and in that tradition we spent the day making food for our family. I was proud because we made everything up and it all turned out so yummy.

The main event arrived on Saturday. Norah Ilene, my sister Sarah's newest addition to the family. I describe this precious little baby as delicate, sweet and little. I hogged her quite a bit but I couldn't help it, she was so cute!!!

We did a lot of celebrating on Sunday Mother's day, Sarah's baby shower and Daniel birthday again. It is so nice to be with family.

Sam had to practice a lot of self-restraint with Norah. You could tell he just wanted to squeeze her cute little face. Well we all felt that way, so precious.

Grandma Marty and Grandpa Sam were out of town for most of the time we were down but fortunately they came home just in time for us to see them! We had a really nice visit. They know the way to Sam's cream!
One of main reasons for our visit was my Grandpa's 90th birthday, which I don't have pictures of yet. My grandpa was wearing this Laker's hat and Sam stole it and for some reason really enjoyed it. I guess he's a Laker fan. My grandpa ended up giving it to him and even now that we are home he still likes his hat. Don't be fool by his expression in this picture I think he's disgusted at the state of that oven mitt.