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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sacramento Train Ride

We have been hearing about the train in Old Sacramento for over a year now and finally made it up there last weekend to take the boys for a train ride.

Jake and Caleb

Landon and Claire

There happened to be a Rescue Event going on in Old Sac that day with Police, Sheriffs, Fire Departments, CDF, and more.  One of the law enforcement agencies was giving out whistles to kids.  Great if you get lost, not so great for the parents to listen to all day... :P

(Video of Landon and Claire dancing as we wait to board the train):

All-Aboard!  We sat in a covered car that was open on the sides so it was easy for the kids to see where we were going.  

These boys have lots of fun being silly together...

My tired teething toddler!  

(Video of the kids as the train is departing the station):

No smiles in this shot, but the boys had a great time being on the train and hearing the (LOUD, as Caleb pointed out) train whistle blow.

Next visit will be to the Sacramento Train Museum, perhaps for a rainy fall day...

Grape Festival

Went to the Grape Festival on Thursday (Family night) with Jen and her kids since our husbands were both gone working.  The tag-team method works well for us and we had a good time during the two hours we spent there...Kiddie ride-on tractors, Real farm tractors to climb on, Petting Zoo, Remote-control race cars, and the perfect (enclosed) area to run during dinner time.  Oh, and the Monkey Show.  It was great!  The guy had a few trained Baboons that have appeared in many movies and commercials that did some funny acts with him, and his (Russian?) wife introduced us to a small variety of monkey who was wearing a duct-taped-on diaper.  Says he just learned how to take them off.  Just like a kid!  Our kids loved it all and were giggling the whole time.



Landon at 22 months

9/9/13:  Landon seems to be starting to potty train with no prompting from us!  It has only been a few days, but it is night-and-day difference from first-child Caleb.  Perhaps that's the difference, or perhaps just Landon's personality, perhaps watching brother use the potty and seeing the Elmo potty always out...  Whatever it is, its off to a good start!  He will often times tell me when he needs to go as he is starting to strip off his diaper, so we go running in and he is more than willing to sit and try.  :)

9/10/13: Said something fairly recognizable as referring to Caleb's name when we asked him to try and say it: Ca-uh.

Walks around singing 'Happy Birthday' all the time now.  It sounds something like this:  Bee, to youuuuu, Beee, to youuuu!  (Video):

Started taking an interest in wearing a baseball hat like Caleb does.

Kind of funny, but STILL no fourth tooth on the bottom.  This picture happens to show it very clearly.

When he wakes up, in the morning or from nap, he wants to bring his babies out with him, but it sometimes includes his pillow, too.  The only thing left in his bed is the mattress!

This kid loves to get wet and play in the water...

His favorite: Do a running start and plunge face first into the water of our  kiddie pool.   Drenched, happy, repeat.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Labor Day Fun

Like many, I was excited to see the return of Lodi's Field and Fair Day, now being called Labor Day Lodi.  I have a lot of fun memories from going each year growing up... mostly relating to the early morning rising and seeing the hot air balloons take shape and take flight.  Field and Fair Day was also where I first saw Lodi High's Drill Team perform, and always thought that was something I wanted to do when I got to High School.  Good memories.

Though the Hot Air Balloon wasn't widely publicized this year, I heard from a friend that they were in fact doing it, and decided the morning of the event that I would wake the kids early and take them in pjs by myself to see it, as Jimmy had left the night before for an annual produce conference in Hong Kong.   They were groggy and quiet most of the time, but did enjoy watching how big the balloon got and seeing it take off, despite the few sprinkles that were falling during it all.  

Activities and games didn't start until 10:00 so we headed home for breakfast and returned later.  Caleb loved being in the bounce house - at first with only one other child, then soon there were probably as many as a dozen kids in there an no one controlling it!  

While Caleb jumped in the bounce house, Landon had his own fun bouncing on part of the inflatable obstacle course... (Video below, or click here)

Caleb took a shot at throwing balls at the dunk tank... As you can see she didn't want to get wet, and lucky for her, the tank arm seemed to be overly tight because though one of Caleb's throws and one of my mom's throws hit it, it still wasn't enough to put her in.  Not-so-lucky-for-her, my mom ran up and pushed the arm to get her wet.  Good example Nonni.  :-P

Since the boys are familiar with the WOW Science Museum (we go there to play about once a week), Caleb enjoyed watching their exciting science experiments demonstrations.

Landon was a little overwhelmed, but he warmed up afterwards when he heard the Bon Jovi (?) tribute hair band playing music and started rockin' out... (Video below, or click here):

A fun day overall despite the strange humidity and intermittent sprinkles!

Sunday, September 8, 2013


<New videos added below>

Caleb was not into having his picture taken for their cubbies at school, and they ended up getting a side profile shot of him just to have something to put on his cubby!  A few days later he told me that he wanted me to take his picture, and here it is - so cute, it looks like he is posing the same way I imagine all the other kids in his class stood to smile and have their pictures taken!  The actual picture day is coming up... hope he is in the mood to smile!!

Caleb just learned how to take a picture on my phone, and this is what he snapped of me.  Not bad... at least my head is mostly in the picture!

Red Bell Peppers are one of my favorite vegetables, and we tried growing them a few years ago with little success.  Seemed like they would always go bad before turning red.  This year we have three plants, and they have produced a decent number of peppers, the prettiest and most perfect of which is this one - looks like a really nice one you get at the grocery store!  I was very excited!

Cool 'rock wall' for younger climbers, with slide on the other side.  Boys loved it.

Cool slide, huh?  Fun for races...

Trying to get a few things done around the house, kids unattended briefly, and this is what I came in to find.    

We headed up to South Lake Tahoe for a weekend in the middle of August with Nana Gigi, Uncle Ben, and Auntie A.  The house we rented was on a quiet street with this fabulous gated front yard that had brand new sod.  It was perfect for the kids to run around, but still be contained and safe.  We didn't do much of anything, and in fact didn't even leave the house on Saturday, but since the kids had so much fun playing somewhere new, it was fairly relaxing, and fun to hang out with family. 
The boys played LOTS of baseball

Auntie A the Wheelbarrel chasing Caleb

Uncle Ben and Landon standing on their heads :)
The house had a massage chair.  Caleb has never sat in one before.  I think he kind of liked it!
A stop at an Emerald Bay Lookout Spot
The rental house had a jacuzzi, which the kids were excited about.  It took overnight to get it from the 70s up to 100 degrees, but the boys didn't mind too much.

On Saturday Uncle Joey, Aunt Aly, Tessa and Beau drove up to hang out for the day.  Tess and the boys spent a lot of time playing with this little Skeeball toy they found in the closet.  Luckily no one swallowed the tiny balls.

Dance Party!!! Nothing like Thomas the Train theme song to get the kids movin'! (Video):

Playing LIFE with Uncle Ben.  Well, the spun the dial and moved the cars around. That was about as complex a version as Caleb was into doing.

Landon wandered in to join the fun.  He mostly kicked the cars and pushed the money around...

Caleb and Cousin Beau...

Making crazy hair with Uncle Ben

Some crazy racoons kept lifting the new sod in the backyard digging for worms.   It was so weird to come out and find the sod like this, rolled perfectly as if human hands had done it! 

On Friday we stopped by a beach area to see the Lake and the Tahoe Queen taking off before getting a snack at the Riva Grill.  Caleb saw these water tricycles and was talking all weekend about wanting to ride one, so on Sunday we did before heading home.  At first Caleb was unsure about it, but when he saw Uncle Ben and Auntie A go on it first he warmed up to the idea and wanted to ride.  His favorite part was sitting on the bar in the middle and touching his toes in the water.

I didn't put a suit on Landon because I foolishly thought we would be able to keep him out of the water while we rode the water tricycle.  He got soaked, and then rolled around in the sand, and then touched his tongue with wet sandy hand.  Oh well.  Good thing we had dry clothes in the car to change into afterward!

All the boys mowing the lawn :)
My brother Joey and sister-in-law Lindsey came home to visit for a few days over Labor Day weekend.  We had fun hanging out, having lunch at the shoppe, and playing with their doggies, Maverick and Stella.

Dinner at Pietro's with the fam...

Landon must have been extra sleepy this night because he kept wanting to lay his head in my hands in the middle of his dinner.  He would eat a little, lay his head down for a second, eat some more, lay his head down again, etc.  It was so sweet.