Los Angeles


Ian had to go out of town last week for work, so I decided to take the kids down to Los Angeles and visit my parents. I always love how there is just so much to see and do constantly there. We took the kids to the Santa Monica Pier one day, in which Callum had his first experience at riding carnival rides and was totally into it. He was NOT into leaving though, and was sure to let us know.  Technically Callum was 1 inch too short to ride unattended on the rides and I thought I was going to have to bite the bullet and go round and round and round some more all day, but somehow the workers were fine with Connor or Isla being his "adult". Yes, the sign clearly said adult, but I did not complain, at the decision was in my stomach's favor. Connor rode the big roller coaster 14 times by himself...well, the worker convinced my dad to go on with him,  for free, on the last ride.

No trip to LA is complete without my mom and I dragging the kids to a couple thrift stores. We also fed the turtles in Echo Park lake, where we also managed to let the older two have popsicles without Callum knowing. We made them stay behind the stroller the whole time and it actually worked. Which, this decision too was in my favor, as I didn't want to deal with a sticky mess of a toddler and a destroyed stroller. 

Let us not forget our trip to Ikea...hello free childcare! Or playing at Travel Town, a train museum. Here is where I discovered Connor's love of trains is still there, and his imagination is still active as ever. We also went and had dinner with my aunt and uncle, which is always nice. 

It was a good trip. Being with people I love, who will also help with the kids, is always much nicer than a week home alone, going at it alone. 



^^ Their first time on the planes Callum sat in front of the controls and they basically stayed on the ground the whole time, only bouncing up and down a little.


^^ With Isla at the controls 








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Blueberry Picking


I love blueberry picking. It's something I find fun and I just love to take the kids. I had never even heard of blueberry picking before we moved back here seven years ago...maybe it's more recently become a thing? Who knows. Anyway, I knew I wanted to get out there this year, before the season had passed and before it was unbearably hot. 

We've had something going on every day of summer break so far and Friday was our first day free. I thought we would relax a bit. But the kids woke up and were at each other all morning. Just endless fighting and whining and I knew we needed to get out of the house. So, I loaded them up and took them blueberry picking.

The blueberry picking itself was quite successful. Now that I have two children that don't just sit there and eat all they pick! We managed to go home with just over four pounds. But the third child...well, he ate everything he picked and we had to guard the other buckets from him!

Right when we were getting back to the barn from picking blueberries, I looked like a bit of a circus act. Callum was trying to run away from me to the playground. I was pulling the wagon and trying to manage everyone else. Then I ran into someone I knew who offered to help. I kindly asked that she keep an eye on Callum at the playground while I go pay. Which, I must say, mom solidarity is just the best. We moms should always be willing to help each other out, yet so often don't. But back to the story. 

After I paid, we went out to the playground. The older two ran off and Callum was in the sand box, so I planted myself there. I was staring at the sandbox, but really in a daze, trying to decompress from the morning's events. I watched a kid repeatedly throw sand in another kid's face and it wasn't until the other parent intervened that I realized the sand throwing kid was MY KID. I was a bit mortified that I was literally staring at it happening, yet did nothing. Well, long story short, no matter what I tried, the sand throwing (literally directly in other kids faces) kept happening, so we left. 

But the blueberry picking itself, well that was great. And the blueberries are delicious. So, I'm chalking it up to a win. 







^^ These two lazy bums had me pull them in from the field. I'm pretty sure this is where the circus act started. I was pulling the wagon with one hand and holding on to Callum with the other, as he kept running away. 


Now to eat all those blueberries, which is never hard for us.


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Isla's Dance Recital


Isla had her dance recital this past weekend. This was the first year that she did both a ballet and a tap routine in it. It was also the first year she was required to stay for the whole performance...which is over three hours long! Add on to that her having to be there early and the time it takes to dismiss all the dancers, Isla and I clocked in being at the performance for about four hours both Friday and Saturday evenings. But Isla did great. She had fun sitting with all her friends from class and watching/copying the other dancers on stage. And she did great in both her ballet and tap performances. Though, I will say, the ballet dance seemed hard for the class in general. The cute part is at the end, they are supposed to spin (or whatever the technical name for that is), then jump out with their hands up on the last beat. Isla and one other girl were the only two to nail it both nights. Everyone else stopped spinning and got into the end position before the last beat. But not Isla. She nailed that ending both nights. The tap performance was super cute and all the girls did a great job with this dance. 




^^ Excitedly exiting the stage after her dance performance. This excitement was for her grandparents, not me...whomp, whomp, whomp.


^^ At the end of the entire performance, each class came back on to stage to bow and it was just the cutest thing ever. Like literally the cutest. The kids are all excited and stoked to do it. There was a great energy and they loved taking that big bow. 


Isla has decided to continue with dance and will be doing ballet and tap again in the fall...well August, which technically is the middle of summer. But you catch my drift. And several of her little dance buddies have signed up for the same class time as her, so that's fun.

Just in case you are a sucker like me and want to take a look back at Isla's ballet "career", here she is at the beginning of the year, at her 2017 ballet recital, at her 2016 ballet recital, and the cutest thing ever, at her first ballet trial class in 2015.


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The Kids Shared Room


Connor and Isla have shared a room for a little over a year and a half. In that time, I think I rearranged their room at least three times (that I can think of) to try to maximize the space. I had their beds parallel to each other, in an L shape and lastly across from each other, trying to give them each their own space. Someone had given us a bunkbed for Connor when we lived in our last house. He slept on the bottom bunk, but with kids wanting to play on the top bunk, there were a few head to ceiling fan incidences. So, when we moved, we ditched the bunkbed and just set the bottom bunk up as a single bed for Connor. I hadn't even considered bunkbeds again until I was at my favorite store, the Crate and Barrel outlet warehouse and saw a set there. And they were much shorter than our previous bunkbeds. And it was a full over twin. Something that I again hadn't ever thought of, which I now love. Anyway, I ended up getting them at 85% off, so went for it and haven't looked back. The bunkbeds have opened the kids room up so much. And the full size bed makes it so nice for reading together, of which I love to do with the kids. For a hot minute, we thought about moving Callum in as soon as we put in the bunkbeds, but we decided to hold off until we are fully sure he is done with a crib. But it is our ultimate plan for Connor and Callum to share a room. All the new decor I added to their room when I rearranged was actually from other places in our house...after all, "they" always say to shop your own house!


^^ One fun thing with the rearrange was making the kids a little reading nook. I also framed a piece of artwork each of them had done in school this year and hung it there.


^^ This poor Ikea dresser is on its last leg, literally. We have screwed it back together from the outside so many times and one of the drawers really doesn't work anymore. I'm looking for a new one for them, but have yet to find anything I like in my price range. 



^^ Connor's frankenstein on the left and Isla's bugs on the right.


^^ Yep, Isla has two baskets of stuffed animals. And they really can't be contained in just those! 


^^ I won these adorable Christmas ornaments in a contest a few years ago. In our last house they were hanging on the kids doors, now they are over their coat hooks.



It's been a couple months now that we've had the bunkbeds and I love them. I love that the kids can't see each other at night, so don't fight at bedtime about say someone looking at the other or something like that. Plus, Callum has yet to master the ladder yet, so there's that. When that day comes though...eek!!! The last thing I want to do is hang a little shelf on the wall inside/beside the kids beds so they can each have a couple books right there in their beds, instead of spread out all over their beds.

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Isla's Kindergarten Graduation


I've basically been dreading the end of kindergarten from the beginning of the year. Kindergarten is such a special time. There is just an innocence and a bond between the kids that seems to leave as they get older. Not to mention, Isla was in a great group of kids. We had twice weekly playdates all year long - Tuesdays at the park after school and Thursdays at an indoor play place after school. It really made the group feel so much more tight knit than it normally would. 

For the graduation itself, the kindergartners walked out to pomp and circumstance, which is just too cute to see little kids walking out to that wearing their little graduation caps. Then they performed five songs before the actual graduation. During graduation the principal said Isla's name wrong and Isla made sure to turn around and tell her so...hahaha! She butchered a few other kids names before apologizing for getting so many names wrong. Aww kids, they will just tell it like it is...like when you say their name wrong in the middle of graduation. 

After the ceremony there was a little reception for the family and time for signing yearbooks. Unlike Connor who is 0/3 for ever getting signatures in his yearbook, Isla made it her job to run around and collect as many of her classmates signatures as possible. She also made sure to hit up her teacher and the PM kinder teacher as well. 






^^ Isla and her amazing and sweet teacher. 


^^ Isla was so excited to get balloons..though the balloons caused quite the drama because apparently you can't have balloons at the graduation because of them being a choking hazard. Who knew? But they let me put them in the office, then grab them after the ceremony...when apparently the choking hazard was no longer there.  



Just in case you want to spend three minutes of your life watching Isla sing and get her diploma, here you go...


And just because I am a sucker for looking back, here's Connor's kindergarten graduation. He looks so little! Is Isla going to grow and mature that much in two years too?! No need to answer that, I already know.


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Last Day of School



Nothing like photographic evidence to remind you how much your kids have grown over the school year! There were teeth lost, inches grown, knowledge gained. There was social and academic growth. New friends were made. Phone numbers exchanged between parents with the promise of getting together during break. And just like that, another school year has come and gone.


This kid right here is smart. So smart. And inquisitive. I hope he always keeps asking questions and having a thirst for knowledge. And I hope whatever he choose to do, he puts that amazing brain of his to good use. I also hope that no matter how embarrassing the talks from his teachers are for me, that he never looses his wittiness and knack for sarcasm. 




And this one, an artist suits her perfectly. She has complained all year long that she misses preschool because they don't do enough crafts in kindergarten. She loves drawing and creating things. She has been talking about illustrating books and I think that sounds like not only a fun job, but the perfect job for her. I hope Isla's enjoyment of the arts isn't sucked out of her the older she gets and the more pressure academically she receives. I hope she always finds time to be creative and always stays her spunky self. 


^^ This is her new signature pose. She will even walk like this.



Now excuse me while I go enjoy the fact that it is SUMMER BREAK and all that entails...no more alarm setting, no more homework, no more following schedules. Fun in the sun (and indoors when it's really, really hot!) here we come!


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