Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Difficult Path (ie The San Diego Safari Park)

I have a history with the Wild Animal Park (now known as the San Diego Safari Park). When I was younger, maybe around 5 years old, I was horsing around the monorail which is a tram that circles a large open habitat for rhinos, elephants, gazelles and other African plains ungulates. Apparently I was very active, some would say spastic, and ended up falling several feet from the suspended platform to the ground below.  I don't remember much of it but I think I scared my mom quite a bit.  Anyway, this time we were able to take the little kids to enjoy the animals and I kept my cool and didn't fall off anything.

One new exhibit we liked was the Australian Walkabout which has a path that winds through grass and eucalyptus trees with wallabies and kangaroos freely hopping or lounging about. You can only pet them if they hop on the path, which they didn't do while we were there. It felt like a big tease. There were many plots discussed for future visits that would lead to more wallaby touching. The best ones were 1) Baby carrot in the sock 2) Stray toddler running off the path. Next time we'll be more prepared.

Note: I have no pictures of the animals because I've learned from going through photos I took when I was a kid that when you look back at photos you (and just about everyone else) don't really care about the animals. You care about the people. If there's animals + people that's good, but just animals = very forgettable.

The petting zoo where you get a brush to help you interact with the animals in a more friendly manner.

Ok, so I kind of wish I got a picture of the elephants here because there was a little baby one.  They were further down so I couldn't fit animals + people.

This tiger exhibit is so well done! We went down "The Difficult Path" and those in the right mindset were not disappointed ;)

Another Day Another Dinner

Like many families we tend to congregate around food.  My dad grilled some chicken and steak and my niece Claire made delicious profiteroles filled with ice cream.  Ollie and Charlotte ran around in the backyard a lot and the rest of us sat and chatted.  We were only missing my brother Dave and his family but hopefully we'll see them for the holidays.

Charlotte was obsessed with the dirt in this flower bed and would wake up and run strait for the back door to play in it. Needless to say she had a lot of outfit changes this trip.

San Diego Summer 2018

Even though we've been moved into our house for 2 months now, it feels like we haven't been here long at all because we've been out of town visiting our families. Most recently we went to San Diego to visit my side of the family.  It was different going this time because Charlotte is older and can do more things. The plus side of having little kids in the family again is that we're more motivated to visit a lot of places that we haven't been to in years to keep them entertained.

We also spent a lot of time hanging out on the lawn in the backyard.  It's been so hot in Utah this past summer that being outdoors and not having to worrying about getting burned or sweating a gallon was a treat. 

Note: There are a lot of pictures of my nephew Emmett on here because he's the youngest right now and therefore the cutest.

The delicious manju and mochi that my parents bought for me and John. My favorite is the peanut butter mochi! 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Grass, Waffles, and Friends

We've been working on establishing some new routines since moving. Around the time we started moving Charlotte dropped her second nap and for awhile was switching between sleeping in the AM and PM for her one nap. I think she's finally settled on a consistent time so I can plan a little better for our schedule each day. Last week we tried to go out each morning (parks, splash pad, Thanksgiving Point, walks, etc.) come home for Charlotte to nap, and then chill at home once she woke up. It worked out pretty well except for a couple days when the construction on the street became particularly loud and there were no naps and we were both going crazy.  Thankfully the dropping of large boulders into metal truck beds has ended and now it's just regular building noises which she has been able to sleep though decently.

The Nashes came into town on a short trip for a funeral (sad occasion) but were able to hang out with us Saturday morning. John showed off his breakfast skills and we had Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries and cream and candied bacon.  Afterwards the older boys watched Avatar the Last Airbender on the couch while Charlotte and Elliot chased each other around the house. We miss John and Angelica and can't wait for the day the move back to Utah. 

There were also some house improvements going on that day. The sod was laid and we're excited to be able to run on it and read books in the grass once the 2-3 week establishment period is over.  We also finally got an electrician to put up our unapproved over-tub pendant. Hopefully no one will get electrocuted.

Friday, August 24, 2018

New House, New City, and Trying to Find New Routines

It's been 8 months since I last wrote a post. I'm under a year so it's all good, right? Andre reminded me today that I haven't written in awhile and I tried to think of a good excuse. In my mind my retort was that I've been recording things regularly on paper, or through Instagram or the journaling app that I downloaded and wrote in a grand total of three times, but they were all not true. So, at least for Michelle, Andre, and myself, I might try to be better about posting here because I'm realizing that if I don't, I'm not recording much from my life right now. 

Also, I feel rusty from not writing much of anything lately. Since I was released from my teaching calling at church a month before we moved and now that I'm not teaching middle school and writing lessons and emails daily, I haven't had much of a chance to compose anything. You'll have to read this and future posts for awhile with a forgiving eye.

We moved in July to the house we've been building with Millhaven Homes for a year. We love the space and that we don't have to keep the TV on low volume or worry about taking out our trash cans too early or too late in the day for fear of waking up the whole street. We're not completely finished unpacking but it's slowly starting to feel like a real home.  Landscaping is underway and we're looking forward to not tracking in so much dirt and having a place outside for Charlotte to run around.  

I've been exploring the area and surrounding communities to see what kid friendly things are available for Charlotte. There aren't any parks within decent walking distance so we drive around more, but there's also a nice long (17 mile) bike trail that runs in front of our neighborhood so we also walk a lot more. 

Nights have been spent unpacking and taking boxes out to the garage. We've also been reviewing our budget a lot and crunching numbers to makes sure things are good with all our moving expenses.  All in all it's been a little disorienting but I feel like we're slowly settling in.

Saying goodbye to the old townhouse.

New kitchen.  It's actually never this clean.

Exploring new parks.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Michelle's Shower for Baby Emmett

During the week of Thanksgiving my sister Lisa, my mom, and I threw a little family baby shower for my sister Michelle. We had brunch at Le Parfait Paris, a super cute French cafe in Downtown San Diego.  The food, especially the desserts, were excellent and Lisa did such a good job of decorating to match the theme of the restaurant.

I'm writing this a late so Emmett actually arrived yesterday at 5am! We're going to go see him in a month but for now I'll have to satisfy myself by looking at the pictures Andre has sent me.

The guest of honor.

One of the shower games was matching ways to say I love you in different languages.