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California 2.13

Well, I know that I’m about four months behind on this thing, so I decided to just start fresh (and *maybe* I’ll get back to the past months at some point). Anyhoo, we just came back from one last hurrah before the baby arrives – a week in California! It was originally going to be a girls trip, but my crazy/awesome husband decided to DRIVE down there and surprise us so he could meet us at Disneyland and join in on the fun. So sweet. His new car might have had something to do with the motivation to drive 1300 miles…

Here’s some pics from our day at Disneyland.
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{obligatory family castle shot}

I’m not going to lie, it started out pretty rocky. We got there and headed straight to Fantasyland, which is the most toddler-friendly area of all. I saw a Snow White ride that I thought she might like, but it ended up being dark and scary and filled with witches. So she basically spent the first hour crying and demanding to go home. Not exactly what you want to hear when you spend and arm and an leg on admission. But she soon warmed up to the whole thing (although she absolutely refused to go on any rides that went inside, really limiting our choices!).
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We made her ride five rides before she got to pick out a toy. Her choice? An Ariel purse and gloves, obviously.
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This is what happens when you decide it’s a good idea to walk around Disneyland in your third trimester and have already been having Braxton Hicks for a few months. Funtimes. Luckily there were a lot of benches to rest on.
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The highlight of the day was most definitely meeting some of her favorite characters.
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Especially the princesses! As you can tell, she was in absolute heaven. It was well worth the long wait in line! She hugged Tiana for so long that we basically had to yank her away. So cute.
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{side note: why do they set up the princesses in this awful sunny/shadowy area? Makes for terrible photos.}

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{please notice her leg kicking out – these were some serious hugs she was handing out!}

Showing Ariel her Ariel purse. Good times.
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Another highlight of the trip was a fabulous brunch with my besties and their kids. There’s nothing better than meeting up with friends who I have known since my post-college LA days (and Amy, who has been my BFF since elementary school!) and seeing all of the kids play together. It’s pretty weird/awesome.

This is Olivia and Carson, Amy’s little guy. Love.
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Morgan (Jen’s daughter), Carson, Olivia, and Natalie (Melanie’s daughter).
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I miss these girls!
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We of course spent lots of time with my family and friends, but did I get any decent pictures of that? Nope. Except for on my phone. Lots of time at the park and just playing and enjoying the nice weather.
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And now we’re home and on countdown – about 8 weeks to go until we meet our little guy. Woop!

SF Girls Weekend

Last weekend, for only the second time in three years, I flew down to San Francisco for a kid-free girls weekend with my very best friend, Courtney. Court was my roomie for years in college, we met freshman year and we knew instantly that we were destined to be close. Court has been by my side for the past 14 years (when did we get that old?!?), through good times and bad, weddings and babies, happiness and joy and sadness and frustration and all emotions in-between. And through it all she has remained my rock, a constant confident who I know that I can always rely on no matter the distance. Although we don’t see each other as much as we like (because, really, we’d like to be next door neighbors), it always feels like no time has passed when we see each other. I am so very blessed to have a friend like her.

The husbands were teasing us because we had no weekend agenda. And that was the point! No kid’s schedules to keep, no diapers to carry, no naps to work around or whining to contend with. We hiked and shopped and ate fabulous food and talked constantly (without interruption from children!). And it was beyond fabulous.

A few iPhone pictures of our aventures…

We arrived at our hotel to find this lovely surprise. And although my husband did attempt to claim the credit for such a good deed, it was Courtney’s mom who did this for us. She’s the sweetest.
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FYI – we stayed at Villa Florence in Union Square and it was awesome! A definite recommendation.

Pre-shopping pose in front of the trolley, a SF must.
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We had an amazing dinner at The Slanted Door. It was right on the water, and on a 70-plus degree day it was perfection. I am now obsessed with learning to make Viatnamese food, it was seriously so good.
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Makeup AND lipstick. Must be a kid-free dinner!
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Our sweet friend Kelly met us at dinner. She was also a college roomie, and following that we lived together in Santa Monica for years. I absolutely adore Kel and it was SO fabulous to spend time with her!
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A few other shots around town…
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How gorgeous is the inside of the ferry building? There’s a great market inside the building.
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The outside isn’t too shabby, either!
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These hearts are all over the city.
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Best. Breakfast. Ever. I love bread.
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Ahhh, can’t wait for another girls weekend! I came back feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to see this little one, who had a fabulous weekend of dad-daughter time!
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California 3.12

Well, we’re back from yet another great trip to CA and I finally had a bit of time to sort through the Disneyland pictures! Since Olivia doesn’t take a nap anymore I’m relegated to doing anything that I might want to do alone by either getting up before her usual 6:30am wakeup time or at night (when, let’s face it, I’m usually exhausted from 12+ hours with a very active toddler and usually just want to collapse on the couch and watch awful reality TV). Hence the lack of postings in the recent months. Warning: this is going to be a long one, blogging is basically the only way I record my memories so I wanted to be thorough!

Anyhoo, as you may imagine she thought that Disneyland was pretty much the greatest thing ever, and still tells me every night that she dreams about it. We elected to surprise her by just going there and not telling her about it beforehand. Since toddlers have a very limited understanding of time, telling her about anything before hand lends to a barrage of questions about it every 10 minutes, whether it be a day away or a week away. I did a little “interview” with her on the way there:

Day One: Disneyland

Once we walked in she still didn’t really have a clue of what we were doing, but as soon as she saw the castle she jumped out of her stroller and marched ahead. I wish I had caught her expression when she first saw it because it was seriously priceless!
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{Can someone please photoshop all of these other people out for me? My skills aren’t that good!}

Most of the pictures I took were of her face reacting to the rides because she was just so darn adorable and excited about everything. The sparkle in her eyes tells it all. Plus there were hordes of people everywhere and it was basically impossible to get a shot that wasn’t full of strangers. Is Disneyland ever not packed? What a money-making machine.

We spent most of the morning in Fantasyland, as it’s the most toddler-friendly. Dumbo was a big hit!
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Storybook Land boat ride.
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Teacups! As you can tell, she really loved this one.
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Heading into It’s A Small World with the grandparents.
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We actually got stuck on this for about 10 minutes and we were all threatening to abandon ship. That song is enough to drive a sane person crazy. But she didn’t seem to mind at all.
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Autopia! This was one of my favorites when I was younger. I remember feeling SO cool that I could drive a car by myself. Never mind that it was a speed-limited car on a track, it was still the coolest.
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The Jungle Cruise.
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The thing that surprised us most of all was how patient she was about waiting in long lines. Disneyland definitely has it figured out – they keep you moving and always give you glimpses of the coming attraction.
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Showing off her beautiful ensemble.
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Day two: California Adventure
I have to say that I far preferred California Adventure over Disneyland. Cleaner, newer, good food, just better all around. They also had some rides that looked super fun for adults, but as we were on the ‘kid plan’ those will have to wait for another trip. When we got there it was pretty empty so we were able to do the Ariel ride on repeat. She has declared that to be her very favorite of all! It was pretty adorable…

I took a video of her riding Flik’s Flyers. She was cracking me up with her faces!

She was also a big fan of the Heimlich Chew Chew Train. We had to do back to back rides on this one.
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Sticker!
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And of course, ending the day with a Mickey ice cream sandwich.
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My only complaint was that we didn’t really get to see many princesses, which as you all know she loves. At Disneyland they’ve sequestered them in an attraction which you have to wait about 90 minutes in line for a photo with them and at California Adventure you can pay $40+ per person for lunch in Ariel’s grotto to see them. We actually were planning on sucking it up and doing this, but then she said that she didn’t want to (I think she might have been a bit scared of the life-size princesses?) so we decided to save the money and skip it. We did run into Snow White when we just arrived at Disneyland and at that point she was so overwhelmed by everything that she was NOT into meeting her. Otherwise, it was a blast!

The only other camera pictures I took during the week were of a random side trip we took to our old house on our way to drop Doug off at a friend’s place. We’ve both had dreams of the new owners doing bizzare things to the house (at one point I literally dreamt that they eliminated the back and built a grotto. Bizarre, I know). Good to see that old 3712 is being well taken care of!
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As you can clearly see O was not into this at all. It was after two full Disney days, so I guess I can see why.
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Other than all of the Disney fun, we spent a lot of time with family and friends – lunch with my bestie, a boy’s day of riding and sushi for Doug, dinner with old work friends, dinner with Danielle’s lovely family, and lots of playtime with grandma, grandpa, Craig & Danielle. I got to go wedding dress shopping with my future sister-in-law, and she found something gorgeous! And Doug and I escaped for our first ever overnight away to San Diego (an early birthday surprise for him!) – wine tasting in Temecula, a night at Rancho Bernardo, and brunch in La Jolla. So lovely and so refreshing! A few iPhone pics of our adventures…

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Ponte Winery lunch.
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Gorgeous morning in La Jolla.
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Whew, that’s all folks!

Disneyland!

We’re spending some time in California with my family, and we spent the last few days at “the happiest place on earth” – Disneyland! Olivia, of course, thought it was THE greatest thing in the world. Pictures to come when we’re back at home, but here’s a quick preview.

Photobucket Check out that smile on her face. Priceless.

Corona Del Mar

There’s something so wonderful about the beach in winter in So Cal – no crowds, no need for a swimsuit, plenty of open space to lounge. So while we were visiting my family last weekend, we took full advantage and took a picnic down to Corona Del Mar.

It was one of those picture-perfect February days.
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Someone is pretty obsessed with the sand.
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Olivia didn’t seem to comprehend the fact that we weren’t there to swim, and repeatedly charged towards the freezing cold water.
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Luckily, Craig and Danielle were willing handlers and kept her from getting too far in!

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{Notice that she’s down to her diaper at this point and poor Craig and Danielle are completely soaked. Despite their best efforts, O succeeded in getting pretty wet and LOVED every second of it.}

The newly-engaged couple. It was so fun to talk wedding plans all weekend!
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Olivia managed to work the crowd (read: grandparents and uncle) and somehow scored herself three juice boxes in rapid succession.
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{Check out that gut!}

I only took pictures at the beach, but we had a great weekend – we spent kid-free time with my BFF Amy and her husband Geoff, went to the park about a zillion times, and did plenty of shopping. A perfect weekend all around!

California (continued…)

We spent the week following Easter in CA. Picnic, the park, the pool, the zoo, BBQ, shopping… we did it all, Irvine-style! Here’s a random sampling of photos from the week:

Snack time at Castle Park with her buddy Dylan.

Hanging out at Irvine Spectrum.

Someone has the Pearlstein men wrapped around her little finger!

Doug came into town at the end of the week… Here we are all fancied up for Terry & Janelle’s wedding!

It’s so rare to see us dressed up these days, I’m so glad I remembered to get a photo in the chaos of heading out the door with O crying hysterically and yelling “mommy, hug” because she had figured out that we were leaving her with a babysitter for the first time. Happy to report that despite her initial dramatics, she actually did pretty well. We’re definitely going to have to use sitters more often. Freedom! :)

Irvine Park Zoo!

An attempt at a family photo (with a very wiggly child).

BBQ with my best buddies Amy & Jen.

There were chocolate cupcakes at the BBQ, which O was all over. This photo is pretty hideous, but it cracks me up!

I tried to have a little impromptu family photos session in my parent’s backyard on our last day there. Doug unfortunately had to leave the day before I did due to school obligations, which is why he’s not in any of these pictures.

Easter 2011

Olivia and I spent Easter at my parent’s house. They absolutely LOVED having their granddaughter there and, of course, spoiled her rotten! 

The day before Easter there was a giant egg hunt at one of the local neighborhood parks. The best thing was that we lagged and missed the chaos of the actual hunt, but brought a few eggs and scattered them on the grass and she had no clue that she had missed out on the actual event.

Olivia quickly caught on to the fact that eggs=candy.

There was also an awesome petting zoo. We had to wait a good 30 minutes to get in (an eternity in toddler time), but it was totally worth it. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen her so excited! The poor animals.

The chicken! All she wanted to do was give him a “hug”. She’s been talking about the chicken all week.

(In fact, she just saw this picture and yelled “chicken!!!”)

“Dunny!”

Getting up close and (too?) personal with the goats.

She figured out that she was better off getting on the duckling’s level.

After this excitement, it was time to dye some eggs!

She LOVED it.

Showing off the finished product.

Easter Sunday brought another egg hunt, this time in my parent’s backyard.

Kid on a mission.

This is her new super cheesy happy face – huge grin, looking down.

Chillin’ with her loot!

Of course, the Easter Bunny also brought her a basked filled with sand toys, chalk, and bubbles!

Her favorite part of Easter Sunday? Peeps!

Post about the rest of the week to follow…

5.1.11

Helloooooo friends! 

We’re back from a long, fabulous trip to So Cal. Pictures to come in the next few days, but here’s a pretty cute preview of the goodness!

California 11.10

Olivia and I are back from a pre-Thanksgiving trip down to CA. It was so fun to see friends & family and enjoy the warm weather!

Of course, as soon as we got there Olivia got presents. Check out her new ride!

In So Cal tradition, we went down to Fashion Island to check out their massive Christmas tree. It was gorgeous, as always!

A Christmas tree surrounded by palm trees. Only in So Cal!

O’s favorite part about the tree? Checking herself out in the giant ornaments.

We also went to Irvine Park to ride the “choo choo” and check out the petting zoo.

Harassing the poor animals with the “drush” (yes, all b’s are still d’s).

I had a brilliant idea that I would get a picture of Olivia for this year’s Christmas card while I was there. Unfortunately, the kid thinks that it’s more fun to run away from the camera than to actually pose and smile for it. Two photo sessions and hundreds of photos later, I did not capture anything card-worthy. Ugh.

Her best model pose.

One of the only shots I got of her actually looking at the camera! Of course, it’s somewhat out of focus. Grrr.

This is how 95% of my photos turned out – her back to the camera running away from me! Troublemaker.

Looks like we’ll be using an old picture for the cards unless I can miraculously pull something together in the next week. Oh well!

California 7.10

We headed down to CA to visit family & friends for a few weeks. It was a fabulous trip, minus the fact that we think that Olivia is finally getting some teeth in so she didn’t sleep very well (which means, of course, that no one slept well!).

Several of our friends had babies right around when O was born, so it was so fun to get together with them and watch the kiddos interact.

First up was a pool party with the Sniders and the Halladas. Logan is just a bit younger than Olivia, and they were so cute together!

O was absolutely obsessed with the Cozy Coupe. Pretty sure we’re going to have to get her one!

We also met up with the Linehans and their adorable little guy Ben. Of course, the two of them headed directly for the stairs!

Kisses!

We also spent some time with Dylan, who Olivia has known ever since they were newborns. The two of them had a date at Pretend City.

Besides lots of playdates, we spent almost every day swimming at the pool :)

Doug doing what dads do best :) .

Olivia loved the squirter by the pool.

We also planned a day at Doheny. Made me really miss So Cal summer beach days!

I’m now realizing that I took NO pictures of O with my family. Ooops! Sorry guys!