29 June 2010

I Know What I'm Asking For Next Year

For my birthday this year, David flew out Jill and her two girls, Ellie (3 1/2) and Ari (13 months) to stay with us for a week.  Honestly, that may be the best birthday present I have ever received.  We had so much fun and truly never got sick of each other OR our kids.

Jill is the type of person who you just always want to be around.  She is such a caring, thoughtful person and seeing her with her girls is nothing short of inspirational.

Most days we were able to complete one or two tasks and if we got out of the house before 1:00 it was a miracle.  Her girls almost always woke up before Olivia, so Ari would go down for a nap while Olivia was freshly awake.  About halfway through Ari's nap, Olivia would take hers and we would have to wait for her to wake up before we could leave.  Inevitably, by the time both babies were up, Ellie would need her nap and would either crash out in the car seat or do without.  They were all troopers though and we had an absolute blast together each day.

Some mornings looked like this...
...Ellie would be snuggled up on the couch with Magnum (there's hope!!!), Jill would be drinking her 7th cup of coffee and our two girls would be making a food mess in their high chairs.  Or, they would be snuggled up in David's arms!

Jill and I took the girls on a really cool hike through Poly Canyon up in SLO one day.  She took her camera and got a lot of fun shots, so hopefully some day she will blog about it and post the pictures.  We played Juggle the Kiddos where I carried Olivia and sometimes Ellie, Ellie carried Magnum and sometimes rode in the stroller, and Jill carried Ari or sometimes pushed both girls.  There was also a brief encounter with a flock of sheep, including two beauties Sarah and Lois, and Magnum realized his dream of one day becoming a sheep herder! No joke.

Nighttime was fun too.  Thank goodness I only had to make dinner for us one night because it seems like the evening time was always full of craziness and great conversation.  She was able to sample Firestone's Tri-Tip sandwich (TWICE, thankyouverymuch), Jocko's, SLO's Farmers' Market and lots of local wines via the Michelson cellar.

None of the kids ever went to bed on time, which made for some slap happiness and occasional tears.  I'm forever thankful for our portable dvd player and snack cups full of blueberries and puffs.  Here's a look at bath time:

My favorite is Jill's (absolutely necessary) glass of wine placed strategically on top of the toilet!

My friend Cole ordered Olivia the purple version of this robe from Land's End and I just had to get the girls matching ones for their trip.  Unfortunately, we never got a good picture of the 3 of them with them on.  Next year.

Sunday was Father's Day and David chose to go to the Santa Barbara Zoo to spend the day (err, afternoon).  The zoo is small, but it is absolutely beautiful with views of the ocean from several locations.  We stood in a relatively short line and were able to feed a giraffe at one point too.  David had fun sliding with the babies down a green styrofoam mound.  I honestly think we spent more time in the play area, the food court and the gift shop than checking out the animals.  We will definitely be making a return trip soon.

Jill and I must be big losers because we passed up the opportunity to have a babysitter come and watch our kids and go out for a little Mommy Solo Time to stay home and rock out to the iPod and, wait for it, reorganize my laundry room!  It looks great though and I'm working really hard at keeping it OCD clean!

Also, picture, if you will, a wall with brooms and mops hanging up in an organizer.  It just needs to be hung (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!).

The week literally flew by and before we knew it, the girls' last full day was upon us and we hadn't made it to the beach.  Of course, it was probably the most overcast day we had, but it was still beautiful on the warm sand. 

None of them complained that there was a little fog in the air!

It's a Brady Bunch of Ari!  She's such a ham for the camera!

Check out Olivia stealing Ari's toy.  Poor thing - she's such a good sport about it.

Sea salt turns Ellie's hair into one big beautiful curl and Olivia's into a mullet.

I know it was rough for Jill to travel with the two girls, especially considering they had some horrible luck on the way back home, but it meant so much to me (and David & Olivia too) to have them come out and visit.  I have never met anyone like Jill and, Lord knows, I probably never will.  Her friendship is something I will always cherish.  

See you girls out here next year!

Happy Tuesday from the Central Coast!

*I know I have left out quite a few things, like a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, a shopping excursion in SLO, and tales of The Littlest Pet Unicorn and Mister E so I'm hoping that Jill touches on those if and when she ever blogs again. Hint. Hint. Hint.

27 June 2010

My Sunday Smiles

Here are a few things making me smile on this beautiful Sunday:

Um, this one is pretty obvious!

A bike ride to our local Farmer's Market with my two favorite people.

Not caring that my baby is always dressed better than me and actually allowing a picture of the two of us to be taken together in the middle of our ride.

Thank you, Oxi Clean, for getting Olivia's dress clean after she devoured 4 strawberries, a nectarine and sugar snap peas at Farmer's -- most of which landed on her dress. I'm pretty much obsessed with this blue box. (Thanks, Jill)

Holy Dollar Bins, Target! I love, Love, LOVE the dollar bins at Target and am always bringing home cheap cardboard books that I don't care if Olivia destroys. I hit the motherload today with all the Dr. Seuss goodies (this is just a sampling of the 30+ dollars I spent). Olivia's playroom has a whimsical, pastel Dr. Seuss motif and these will go perfectly in there!

I loaded 942 pictures from my cell phone onto my laptop and found these little gems. *Sigh*

My friend Lauren, who I used to work with at The Fort, posted this link on her Facebook site the other day and David and I went through them again tonight. (A look into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs.) Hilarious.

Was it fate that made me check Petfinder today? Will Hogan be the newest addition to the Michelson family? Stay tuned.
(Does he not sound like he and Magnum were separated at birth?!)

Some rules were just meant to be broken. I signed into Family Law that we would NOT be eating dinner in the family room once our new carpet came in. I made an exception tonight so David and I could have a BBQ picnic inside (considering it was 9:15 before we ate dinner). And, look at me all Cali girl calling it a BBQ even when there's no BBQ sauce involved (with the exception of the BBQ popped chips).
*Yowsa, Mr. Impatience needs a haircut! ;)

Hope you had several somethings to make you smile today too.
Happy Sunday from the Central Coast!

26 June 2010

The Day In Pictures

It seems that David and I have a habit of being lazy half of the day and then trying to cram a day's worth of activities into a few hours.  And then, well, you have me blogging at 10:50 at night instead of sleeping peacefully in bed.  So tomorrow morning, I'll be tired and want to be lazy and then around 2ish after Olivia wakes up from her nap, we'll kick it in to high gear again and BOOM, we'll have the same cycle again.

So, here's a quick recap of some highlights from our busy afternoon/evening.

We released the butterflies that we've watched grow from itty bitty caterpillars turning to chrysalides and emerging as beautiful Painted Ladies.  Olivia wore her butterfly shirt for the special occasion.

There were 10 butterflies in all.

I love this picture - she was looking at the inside of the butterfly cage and Magnum was looking for a treat!

Watching them fly away.

Here's one of the butterflies on the paper where 5 of the chrysalid shells were attached.

Check this out - the butterfly is starting to come out of the cage.

And here it is taking off.  We're nerds, right?

We took a quick trip to the beach since Olivia seemed to enjoy it the last time we were there.

OMG, she is just too cute for words.

David is teaching Olivia how to dig to China.

So, he dug a hole in the sand and at this point, it was deep enough to come to his knees.

And then it was deep enough to almost cover Olivia!

She knows where her belly button is and where our belly buttons are. 

We even managed to squeeze in a little cheerleading practice.

But, she got hungry and had a little sand for a snack.

Finishing the beach trip with a run down the slide.

SOLO ride!

Oh, and here are a few pictures from last night's playtime.

She's getting ready to make me a cup of coffee.  Sweet girl.

Happy Saturday from the Central Coast!

My Little Model

In the last two months, Olivia has had two professional photo shoots and the days couldn't have been more different.  The first one was done the day after she turned one.  I don't know what it is about us scheduling shoots with Daniel and Laura, but it seems like most of them (with the exception of our wedding) are done in really cold weather!  This Sunday was no exception.  It was cloudy and overcast all day, but we still managed to get some great shots!

At this point, she was still a little wobbly on her feet.

Classic David pose.

She was all, Mama, why have you been holding out on me?  This is AWESOME!

I loved the chair shots with the white picket fence behind it.

A couple weekends ago, my friend Maren (Avi's mom from my Mommy and Me classes) was doing a mini photo shoot with her husband.  They own Applemoon Photography.  The morning was absolutely gorgeous.  It was during that one really hot week we get during the summertime.  Olivia was in a great mood and loved running around all over the park.

Our family of four

She was getting warmed up.

Look at that pose

Is it me or does this look like it came out of a J.Crew catalog?

A special thanks to our amazing photographers who make us feel so comfortable and spend so much time perfecting these pictures that we will enjoy for years to come!

Happy Saturday from the Central Coast!

*Yes, I still owe you a blog about Jill's visit.