Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Silverwood Lake

We've been making a habit of driving back from California on Monday, rather than Sunday, because the drive is so much better. And we get to stay for all of Sunday--which usually includes really excellent food and a lot of family time. We try to do something Monday morning, then drive back so we get home before bedtime.

On this particular trip, though, we were having a time trying to decide what to do Monday morning. All our great ideas got shot down when they were either too expensive, too far out of the way, or too closed. Then Ryan had a flash of inspiration that led us to find Silverwood Lake, a gem only 10 miles off I-15 just past San Bernadino. The pictures we saw looked nice, but we weren't completely sure what to expect or if it was really going to be a great stop.

As it turned out, Silverwood Lake was a great stop.

We didn't need our last row of seats this trip, so we took them out and took the boys' bikes instead. They loved having their bikes at Grandma's house and their bikes were perfect for the lake. The lake had a bike path that wound around the lake itself and through picnic areas. The weather was great and the boys had fun riding around. Ryan stayed with Reed and I followed Asher with Lila in the stroller. Asher and I had a few rough spots where he thought the hills were really, really steep downhill (they really weren't) and wanted me to hold his handlebars while I pushed Lila in the stroller. We worked it out, though.

Unfortunately, Reed lost control on one downhill part that was actually steep and crashed into a grill. Thankfully it was not lit and his front tire took the brunt of the blow. He scraped up his hand, though, and was quite shaken and kind of freaking out (me, too). We got him back onto his bike and he rode protestingly to the car.

We did make it to the car, though, and drove to another part of the lake where we enjoyed a picnic that we'd had the foresight to pack.

When we finished eating, we headed down to the beach to play. The water was so warm and I was a little sad we didn't have suits on. (Really, though, who wants to swim in the lake then go ride in a car for three hours, covered in sand?)

On our way out of Simi, we'd stopped at store to pick up buckets and shovels. Good decision.

I helped Lila for a while, mainly ensuring she didn't walk into the water, as she kept attempting, then Ryan took over Lila patrol while the boys and I dug an awesome river system that meandered beautifully until it emptied back into the lake. I don't know why, but I love to dig in sand.

I rolled Reed's shorts up to keep them from getting wet and he reminded me of a little European boy. We finally decided we should pack up and go--after a quick exploring trip by the boys--and loaded everyone into the car. I had to take a picture of the power lines, because they had "beach ball" things on them. A few days prior to our California trip, Reed had asked me about the "beach ball things" on the power lines and I had no idea what he was talking about. He was SO excited to see the beach ball things again so I could see them, too. Apparently the beach ball things make the power lines visible to low-flying planes so the planes don't crash into them.

About ten minutes from home (literally), Asher fell asleep. How cute is he?

And somehow, through a combo of sleep and sheer wiggliness, Lila ended up all shlumpy in her chair. I should probably do something about that.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fourth of July

Our Fourth of July started in one of the best ways possible: at the beach. My parents were in Simi for the family 5K, so they accompanied us to Eric and Mary's beach house, where we spent the morning. The weather was perfect: overcast. Simi had been hot that week, so a respite from the sun was amazing. The boys loved the water, even though it was absolutely freeing. Lila actually loved the water, too! At one point, Asher was shaking and had blue lips, but when we asked him if he wanted to come dry off and warm up he yelled, "No! I'm not cold!" He was having a lot of fun.

They also had a fantastic time digging in the sand. Lila is not okay with sand touching her--so she spent her time walking between my mom and I, taking as few steps on the sand as possible so her feet didn't have to touch for long, then digging from our laps. She's a little bit ridiculous. And cute, when she fell asleep post-beach:

We went to Panda Express for lunch which, in retrospect, seemed a little odd, as it was a day we were celebrating being American. But anyway.

We spend every Fourth of July evening enjoying the lawn next to the church--as does the rest of the LDS community in Simi. We'd staked out our traditional spots early that morning, so once we ate dinner we were ready to go!

The boys talked my dad and mom into several trips across the grassy field to the other side, where they'd roll down the tiny hill. The only downside was that the other side of the field was in full sunlight, so it was quite hot. Eventually we convinced them to hang out with the girls for a while.

Notice the matching shirts? We made those with the girls on the third. The boys were quite excited to have matching shirts with their cousins.

Eventually we broke out the poppers that Grandma H got for us. Unfortunately, she was quite sick so didn't get to see how much alllllllll the kids loved those poppers. We left quite a popper massacre sight.

At the beach, we didn't look like we got much sun. At the grassy field I realized that maybe I should have made the kids hold still a little longer so I could do a better job sunscreening their faces. More than one person asked if we painted their faces for the Fourth of July. I'm not joking.

The girls taught Lila how to carefully set a popper on the ground, then smash it with her foot to get it to pop. She was immediately hooked. She popped poppers with the best of them.

Then I tried to corral my children for a few pictures. I was uber successful.

Finally, darkness started to settle in. We brought out the huge bag of glow sticks Grandma H got for us and the kids got a little crazy decorating themselves...

And then it was time for the big show! Thankfully, there was no crazy firework accident, like last year--and the city made up for last year's failed show with the craziest finale I've ever seen in person. The boys both loved the fireworks. Lila was initially startled and crying, but once I pulled her on my lap and pointed out the source of the noise she was enthralled. She kept pointing to the fireworks and waving "hi." She tried to get down a few times, but with a little coaxing ended up staying on my lap the entire time!

Happy Fourth!

Crack kills

Sometimes, Lila just can't leave her diaper alone...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Activities: Erupting Snow

One of our most beloved summer activities was "erupting snow." It was easy to make--you mix shaving cream into baking soda until it starts clumping together and feels like snow. The boys LOVED it. They played with it for over an hour and a half, no joke. The "snow" was a huge mess, so I'm quite glad they enjoyed it.

When they were done playing, we piled the snow into a bowl and poured vinegar over the top so it erupted. Then the boys played with it some more. Next time, they want to do the eruption first, then play with the wet snow. They're crazy but I sure love them.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Their First Outfits

This is random, but I had a thought today and I wanted to post it because I'm not sure I have ever posted about this particular subject.

The first outfit.

We held out with Reed--we weren't going to buy clothes until we know if we were having a boy or girl. Then, a week before the gender ultrasound, we broke down. There was an Old Navy far too close to our doctor's office and we wandered in after an appointment one day. And they were having a huge sale. We bought a bursting at the seams bag of clothes, boy and girl. We ended up returning the girl clothes a week later.

These two onesies were part of the shopping spree:

When we found out I was pregnant with Asher, we went out to dinner (at Olive Garden) that very night to celebrate. While we were out, we went shopping, of course. We found this cute little pumpkin romper on clearance and, since he was due near Halloween, we knew we had to have it. We didn't know his gender yet, but knew the outfit would work for a boy or a girl.

With Lila, we wanted to do the same thing we had with Asher--buy an outfit or shirt that could work for a boy or a girl. Just a few days after we found out I was pregnant, we found this little onesie at Children's Place and were sold!

And there you have it. The random story of the first outfit we bought for each baby!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Spaghetti + Marshmallows

One of the summer activities we decided to try was building with spaghetti, toothpicks, and marshmallows. At first, Reed thought I was crazy because he heard "spaghetti" and thought "cooked spaghetti"--he finally asked me, "But won't they be all wiggly?" and I finally realized the miscommunication. Once we were on the same page, though, he was excited to try it.

Asher started by making a very complex "guy."

While Reed immediately set to work on a house.

Eventually Asher moved on to house building, too. His was a little wobbly until we added about ten extra supports. I was impressed, though, by how much he did himself.

Reed opted for a one-story model in favor of stability.

The boys kept daring me to go higher, so I kept building until I got to four stories. Phew. Then we connected them all together.

Then the boys started sneaking marshmallows and, when I gave them the green light to eat a few, decided to shove handfuls into their mouths.

 This is why we do these activities when Lila is sleeping.

 When their supply ran out, they turned to their buildings...
Before deciding they actually wanted to keep the buildings around for a few days.

Three cheers for fun activities!