Sunday, November 20, 2016

Halloween Town 2016

October 2016

From the time I can remember I have always been so excited to have children at Halloween. I have looked forward to dressing my cutie little kiddos in homemade costumes, and, admittedly, I always looked forward to dressing in family-style costumes, cause I love to dress up too! So far in my married life we have been cowboy and Indian (first year Cameron and I were married), then, we skipped a year, because I was hugely pregnant at Halloween and wasn't about to try and come up with costumes because I wasn't into it and Cameron could not have cared less), Surfer, Lifeguard, and Shark (Nathan's first Halloween where he was the cutest little shark ever), Despicable Me characters, and this year....wait for're going to be shocked. Was Disney Halloween. 

More about that later...

Last year at Halloween I was just getting out of my first trimester with Penny, and I was still super sick and very tired. So I fully enjoyed this year, trying to make up for last year ;) 

I love Fall...but who doesn't?

First up was the River K Pumpkin Patch in Paso. We went on a Monday night for FHE, and had a blast watching Nathan run around yelling:
-"it's a PIRATE!" (everything with a skull is a pirate-"yo ho pirate li duh me!)
-"it cawey!" (scary) 
-"look at the pumpman's! I love it! It's my favorite!"

With kids this age, who can really take a perfect picture? Plus, I have this really sexy baby carrier that wasn't supposed to be in the picture, but, it's realistic, and that's OK. 

In the "haunted house"


All of the pictures of me lately are selfies with Penny in the carrier. Can I get an amen from all the mama's out there?

BTW, if you're a mom reading this and are contemplating buying the Ergo 360 and think it costs too much, BUY IT. 100% worth the money.

Grandad, me, and Penny Girl
Nathan was in heaven getting to ride around in the cart with the pumpkins. Do you even see that Pinterest-worthy pumpkin my mom found? It is just gorgeous.

When I finally finished our costumes a day or two before our church Halloween party I just HAD to get these costumes on the kids and try them out:

If you don't melt because of the absolute cuteness of these two as Mickey and Minnie, I do not believe you have a soul.

Next Halloween festivity was a local favorite: Avila Valley Barn!

Nathan always loves feeding the goats-

Where this kid got his absolute adoration for animals, I will never know. Cameron's not a "pet hater" like I am, but he's not obsessed with animals. Nathan LOVES animals. I am pretty much guaranteed to have several arguments with this kid in the future about owning animals. AANNNDD I might, just MIGHT be persuaded to have some sort of animal if it can live outside. But I draw a serious, thick, black, impermeable line at any type of reptile. NOT going to happen.

A picture of mommy and Penny waiting for Cameron and Nathan to get out of the corn maze. I was literally having a panic attack thinking about going in that corn maze (maaaaaajor claustrophobia-and it's getting worse and worse as I get older). Good thing Nathan has Cameron, cause there's no way I would have ever gone with him. (see: tarp on TOP of the skinny-aisled corn maze. Dark, no escape. Kill me now.)

Then we took the cutest picture ever taken...

Honey sticks!
We took a hay ride-

Pumpkin painting/carving!

This year I saw this picture:

I asked Cameron to go to the store to get glow-in-the-dark paint, but all he could find at Wal-Mart was the classic one color paint that turns the greenish glow-in-the-dark color. So next year I want to try this again and get the right kind of paint.

We had somewhat of a Pinterest-fail, but he still had fun, so it's good.

Somehow Nathan isn't a weirdo-perfectionist like his mom.


Nathan is obsessed with the Disney Jr. show, "PJ Masks"

So, for Cameron and my pumpkins we decided to do Gecko and Catboy, and my mom joined in the fun and carved Owlette so we had a full set!

I also made some absolutely phenomenal (if I do say so myself, and I do) sugar cookies. The recipe I used was so yummy and SO easy, so if you're looking for a good sugar cookie and icing recipe for the holidays, let me know. I ate WAY too many cookies, and DEMANDED my mom or Cameron bring them to work so that I didn't eat any more. Well, guess what was still sitting on the counter in the morning!? THE COOKIES! I put 2 small ones in a bag for Nathan and threw the rest away. What a waste! But I literally DID NOT have the self control to not eat them. So they HAD to be covered with garbage to be safe from me. #thatsembarrassingtoadmit

Nathan was mostly interested in the sprinkles. That's my type of guy.

Ward Harvest Fest:

Here we are in our glory:

Nathan: Mickey
Cameron: Goofy (thanks to the Richards for letting us borrow your Goofy hat!)
Me: Pluto (shout out to my brother who painted that cute hat for me! Cost me about 10 bucks for the hat and supplies verses the 40 bucks I could find Pluto hats on for online!)
Penny: Minnie

Playing the games!

Nathan was so so cute in his costume. I was loving watching him walk around with his little black nose and yellow shoes. I loved our costumes, but poor Nathan was a little jealous of all of the boys in ninja, super-hero, and Star Wars characters. He kept running up to other boys in "cooler" costumes saying, "Im a ninja!" or "I'm Catboy!" or, "It's a bad guy?" When he saw a boy dressed up like Captain America with a shield I thought he was going to just die of jealousy. He kept talking about Captain America and how he "needs a shiiiieeelld!!!" So, I think that this is the last year mommy is going to get to pick the theme. Well, I enjoyed it while it lasted.

The Saturday before Halloween we went to Pismo for their Pumpkin's on the Pier put on by the city of Pismo, but all of the volunteers are members of the church.

It was INSANELY busy. They had little carnival games set up for the kids to do, but there were SUPER long lines at all of the activities. Tara, who was visiting, was like, "I'm not going to stand in a line that long when there's no ride at the end." I agreed. Nathan did a few of the activities, did the bounce house obstacle course a few times, walked with Cameron and Penny in the costume parade, and we left.

On the way out we did some trick-or-treating to some of the businesses who were giving out candy.

On Halloween we went downtown Paso to do some trick or treating with Nathan.

He treats her like she's a brother-who is her own age....this girl is going to be TOUGH. She's going to have to be.

I was so proud of Nathan when the only thing he asked to eat out of his candy bag was the Cutie (orange).

Nathan didn't end up getting a ton of candy (yay) because there were a few dance groups performing by the park, and all Nathan wanted to do was watch the dancers! We kept asking him if he wanted to leave and go trick-or-treat and he kept saying, "no!" My arts-loving boy.

SO into the dances

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"...I wanna know, when can we do this again?"

September 2016

I'm behind on my blog. 


It's the beginning of November and I am just barely getting to our beginning-of-September trip to Disneyland! One word, guys...children. Any time the kids are sleeping or occupied I find myself choosing other activities besides blogging. (like staring into the abyss and slipping slowly into madness)

But here I am, choosing to blog. Go me. 

Early in September we took our last trip to Disneyland for a while. Our passes expired and we have decided not to renew them for now as we aren't sure what our immediate future holds, exactly. 

Sunday morning we headed down to LA. The kids were amazing in the car, and we stopped by my brother's house in Tarzana and finally got to meet baby George who is about 6 weeks younger than Penny girl. Here's a pic of the two of them together. Geo is ginormous! Penny is off the charts for her age and he is almost the same size as her! Also, Geo had just woken up and didn't want to open his eyes for the pic. He's still oh-so-cute. 

From Tarzana to Anaheim is about an hour drive, and the kids and I slept the whole way. It was glorious, and just what we all needed to give us the umph to finish out the day strong.

Here's Penny, oh so happy to be out of her carseat!

After unpacking the car we headed over to the Grand California Hotel to meet Austin and Jen's family for the kids to do a scavenger hunt where they won a big mickey cookie at the end!

Monday: day 1

Fresh faces: (don't let Penny and Nathan's faces fool you, they were stoked ;))

Sorry if it's TMI, but I was suffering from some serious milk over-production and I felt like I spent the first couple of days at Disneyland trying to force Penny to nurse. Poor thing was getting drowned every time I nursed because my let-down was like Niagra Falls. Poor girl.

Here we are after one such failed attempt:

Nathan loves big kids so much. His cousins Mason and Gianna are no exception. He talks about these two all the time. It is so sweet.

Penny and Sadie both had their Cinderella dresses on (Penny's is a hand-me-down from Sadie :))

Hillary came and spent part of the day with us. She and Penny became fast friends and I was so grateful for a pair of willing hands to help me out with our Penny girl. Made me wish that Hillary was always around! Hillary taught Penny to growl and it was soooo cute.

Penny kept holding the skirt of her dress like this. It was so hilarious. Apparently even though her mother lacks a certain femininity, Penny was born with it in spades.

We got our year passes last September when I was still in my first trimester of pregnancy, so this was my first time going this year NOT pregnant! It was so fun to go on some of the "big kid" rides finally!

Penny is SO excited to eat. Every time we eat or drink she is trying to pull it to her mouth and enjoy its goodness. Here she is trying to steal some of mama's milkshake!

Day 2: Tuesday

Penny girl wore her Minnie dress that my mom bought her after we found out that she was a girl! I'll tell you what, being the first granddaughter (on the Griffith side) has it's benefits!

Also, seriously, good thing we went to Disneyland when we did, because this 3 1/2 month old girl barely fit in this 6-9 month dress! (shocked-face emoji)

Bumper cars!

So, for those of you who are currently living under a rock: Frozen is kind of a popular movie. This Jensen family is totally on board the Frozen train and have watched it so many times that we all sing along to every word. They recently replaced the Aladdin show at California Adventure with Frozen, which, despite the fact that we love Frozen, I was really disappointed in the change. I love love loved the Aladdin show, and it seems like they are just turning everything into Frozen because of it's popularity, and I feel like it's overkill. But we went to the Frozen show anyway, because we knew that the kids would love it, and I can't say it disappointed. Like most things at the Happiest Place on Earth, it was pretty magical.

You win, Disney.

Penny didn't think it was so great, but the rest of us did

Penny did SO well napping in the carrier each day, despite the noise and being jostled around. I am so grateful that Penny is such a chill baby, because at this age, Nathan would have been a nightmare to take to Disneyland. And this girl did it for 4 days in a row. 
Day 3: Wednesday

Wednesday we got to play with Tara!

Here we are waiting for the park to open:

Every time Cameron wears Penny I want to take a picture of it, because it is so stinkin cute. Cameron obliges:

My favorite:

Austin, Jen, and Gianna went on some big kid rides so we got to borrow our sweet Sadie girl for a little while. Here's Cameron holding both Sadie and Nathan because they were nervous about going on Pirates of the Caribbean:

Nathan kept asking, "It scawey? (scary)" then he would answer his own question, "No! Fun!" Although from the look on his face, i'm not sure he believed it. He's all about things being scary lately.

Before coming to Disneyland Nathan kept asking to watch Pirates on the computer. He would run around the house singing, "yo ho lie duh meeee" ("yo ho pirates life for me" in Nathan language) here he is in a pirate captain hat singing these words.

Every time Penny would wake up from a nap she would look up at me like this:

She seemed to be saying, "Mom, what the heck. Why am I not in my bed?!"

That evening we watched the Soundsational Parade and visited with our friends, Chelsea and Shawn Merritt and their girls.

I love this picture I captured of my parents watching the parade with Nathan. It might not be the easiest thing to not have our own space, but I will forever be grateful for the strong bond that living with my parents has created between them and Nathan.

Here's Tara, Penny, and Gianna in line for the last ride of the night: Toy Story Mania

Like so many, Gianna couldn't helped but be dazzled by Tara's dazzling personality and these two became bff. Gianna even asked, "who's older, Tara or Brianna?" (Tara is 4 years older), and Tara told her that she was, to which she replied, "Oh, Brianna looks older." Thanks a lot, Gianna. Trader. ;)

Day 4: Thursday

Last day at Disneyland. We were all so tired. I wanted to poop out and spend a few hours napping and hanging out at the hotel, but once we got there and I realized it was our last day for who knows how long, I couldn't bring myself to leave.

I told myself in a crazy training officer's voice, "Finish strong! Don't quit!"

I take my Disneylanding very seriously, if you hadn't noticed.

Storybook boats!

Nathan was really worn out by Thursday and was a little more sensitive than he normally is.
He was so excited to see Lightening McQueeen until he got close to it and wanted nothing to do with it.

Hillary came and met up with us again and watched the kids so we could go on the cars ride a couple of times. Cameron and I were so stoked, she's lucky we came back! ;)

Bad quality, because of bad lighting, but here we are, last ride of the trip-Monsters Inc!

Friday: Day 5

Our passes expired on Thursday, but we went over to the Disneyland Hotel on Friday morning and took Nathan to the character dining at Goofy's Kitchen!

Here's my review for Goofy's Kitchen, if you wanted to know:

Super cute to see my kids interact with the characters:

Nathan could not contain himself when he saw Pluto walking straight towards him-

The food: yummy.
It was a buffet with any food you could possibly desire. Breakfast food, lunch food, dinner food, dessert. It was a little overwhelming. My mind told me to eat an omelette but my eyes told me to eat cake pops and monkey bread....such inner conflict. I won't tell you what side won.

Gettin real:
Ok, realistically it had been a very long week and I had two tired kids. Penny whined or cried mostly through breakfast (not like her, but she was understandably exhausted), and Nathan was totally into it....for like 30 minutes. And it was really expensive. I ended up taking both kids outside and walking around the grounds of the hotel instead of grazing the buffet like I wanted to. #momlife

So, it was super fun, but what I would say is, if you really want to get your money's worth don't take your kids....just kidding....kind of ;)
But for realsies, I would love to do it again, but maybe when our youngest is 3. But I did LOVE watching Nathan just melt into a puddle when Minnie hugged him. SO. CUTE.

Thus ended our wonderful/exhausting/amazing/long week at Disneyland.

It was such a great week. The kids and I especially enjoyed spending so much time with Cameron without losing him to stupid old work every day. I loved spending time with my family and Cameron's siblings, and enjoying one of my favorite places with some of my favorite people.

But, boy, that was exhausting

Nathan on the drive home