Wednesday, May 30, 2012

International Festival!

For the most part I found the excessive lack of English speaking parents and children at Max's school to be more on the annoying and inconvenient side of things. I'm not racist. It was just difficult to form relationships with other parents and their kids because most nationalities tended to group themselves together tightly. I don't blame them. I would do the same in a foreign country, too.

Doyle holds an annual festival to celebrate its diversity and this was actually kind of cool! They had different classes perform international dances, booths set up to represent every country that had a student and Food Trucks (of course this was my favorite part).


Max's class and Mrs. Radmerski's class had an American 60's dance. They danced to a few Beach Boys songs and sang, too. It was really cute. I'm not sure how cultured it is compared to the Japanese Lotus Flower Dance or the class that did an exciting number to Jai Ho, but it was cute nonetheless.




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Max takes his performances very seriously. It was hard to catch a smile. Every once in a while he'd look at me and crack a TINY little smile. But mostly he just took every move very seriously. Cute kid!


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And my favorite series of photos of him I think ever. SO SO cute how he's dancing with his eyes closed, haha!

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Also, this was the night he started to run a fever that eventually led to him having pneumonia. He came home from school feeling awful and fell asleep. His fever went down and he had been working SO hard for weeks and weeks I didn't want him to miss the show. So we went and when he was done and we got home he totally crashed and was sick for days and days, poor thing.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Solar Eclipse

I really enjoy participating in group things that are history making. Like the Obama election. I voted for him because I wanted to be a part of history. Not really because of my political views. And really, don't make assumptions about my political views -- I'm 100% positive you have absolutely no clue what I really think on most things and I like it that way. One thing I hate more than anything else in the world, more than childbirth, is arguing about political views.

ANYWAY... you are all probably aware that we had a solar eclipse! And this kind only happens once every 100 years or something like that. Obviously I didn't read that much into it. But I DID make sure we watched as much as we could of it from our balcony and I DID rig a janky, but totally effective, eclipse viewing apparatus out of a cardboard box.



Unfortunately the San Diego cloud cover had other plans and shortly after I took that photo completely obliterated the sun (unlike the moon -- haha -- that was a joke!) so we had to watch most of it on the internet. But I feel good that we participated in a world wide event! I guess if I had a bucket list I could cross that off.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Coastal Trail Bike Ride

Lia got a bike! I think all of us were tired of her asking and whining and crying to ride Max's bike and him not sharing and her feeling bad so we went and bought a little cheap bike at Target for her. We tried to see if she could do the no pedals and training wheels push thing but her little legs aren't quite long enough to make that method effective yet. And seeing as how easily Max learned how to ride sans training wheels we aren't that worried about it!


Lia went with the blue and yellow boy bike. Neither of us had the heart to try to convince her to get the pink princess Barbie bike. It was kind of ugly anyway. I think she made the right choice!

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Once she got used to riding it we decided to try out the Coastal Trail in Solana Beach. It's right on the 101 and although it doesn't have an ocean view it's still nice and flat for the kids to ride on. They loved it!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kite Flying Picnic

We are loving having Tyler around on the weekends with us now. The kids act like it's Christmas when they wake up on Saturday and Sunday and Tyler is here ready to spend the day with us! On this day we decided to get the kids a kite and take it down to Mission Bay for a little kite flying, bike riding and picnicking. It was a perfectly perfect evening!

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You can't really see it in this picture but the kids were being really quiet for a while staring down at this dirt patch in the ground so I figured they were up to no good and came over to investigate. Apparently they had found the home of a squirrel or something and were just staring at it trying to get out of it's hole. I think every time it stuck it's nose up and smelled they air it smelled kids and quickly went back down. The kids thought it was fascinating.


Tyler walked with the kids around the bay a bit while they rode their bikes. They loved it! And they went far, like almost 2 miles, and they kept up really well! It was a great family filled fun evening.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Doyle Luau Dance

Well, unfortunately the Kindergarten attitude followed us all to Max's first school dance. Doyle had a luau dance fundraiser and we decided to go and have a good time. I had had a migraine that morning so I was still kind of getting over it but Max really wanted to go so we all rushed over when Tyler got home. When we got there, Max decided that instead of going to find his friends he would just pout and cry and throw a fit instead. About nothing. Or something he wouldn't tell us. I really have no idea. Eventually we just had to leave because he couldn't pull it together which was really unfortunate because Lia was having the time of her life dancing around! This girl is going to be the life of the party wherever she goes!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Sweet Strawberries

When I was in second grade my girl friends and I started a singing group called The Sweet Strawberries. We had all decided that was our favorite food, so, logically, we had to name our group after that. We remixed classic songs like "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window" and "Valentine Valentine" on my friend's little pink keyboard. We recorded ourselves, too. I wish I had a tape player to listen to us! Oh man, good times!


I think I passed that love for strawberries down to Lia. The very first time we took her strawberry picking she was 4 months old and we eventually had to stop letting her eat them so she wouldn't get sick. She ate more than anyone! Now, years later, she still gets beyond excited when we go strawberry picking! And this year was no exception! Even Max took a few nibbles this year.







These strawberries were SO good! Super sweet and really ripe. I cut them all up when we got home. I learned from my mistake of just letting them sit and snacking on them slowly. They really only last about 2 days before they start to go bad because they are so very ripe.



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Published: Bridal

Another spread of my photos. I LOVE seeing them in magazines! Fashion photography with models is not something I ever thought I'd like but I actually really love it. I love the concepts and the way you really don't have to tell the model much and they just know what to do.



Saturday, May 12, 2012

CRUISING or That Time I Bought a Bottle of Lotion for $40

ALL the way back in March my mom, my two sisters and I went on a cruise together to the Caribbean. It was so fabulously relaxing and exactly what we all needed! My mom had never been on a cruise before and I think this was a great introduction to cruising. It is definitely a vacation style that is like nothing else and you can always tell the career cruisers on the boat. I can't say I'd want to do a cruise for every vacation but for the price you really can't go wrong!

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We all flew into Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and spent the night there so we could board the ship the next day. We were sailing on the Norwegian Pearl! Our room was larger than the last one I had stayed in and had a balcony. That balcony was HEAVEN! It seriously made SUCH a huge difference in the comfort of the room.


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Our first island was Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. This was one of the islands Tyler and I had been to on our cruise, too. It's the cruise line's private island. It was nice and warm but the waves were a LOT bigger than when Tyler and I had gone. They were so rough that they weren't even letting people snorkel, mostly because you couldn't see much anyway. We just relaxed on the beach and enjoyed the warm water.



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Our second stop was Jamaica. None of us had ever been here before and Danielle was SUPER excited about going!! She was and is a huge Bob Marley fan and I was slightly worried we would have to force her back on the boat! Sailing into the port of Jamaica was gorgeous. The lush hills are so different from the flat rocky terrain of the Bahamas. We did horseback riding on the beach this day. On our drive to the horse place we passed through a part of Ocho Rios. The poverty hit me hard. We were stopped on a narrow dirt road, cars all around, people all around, and although we were in a completely enclosed van, I was getting uncomfortable. Once we got to the horse riding place we waited for FOREVER to actually go for a ride. SERIOUSLY -- Island Time is for really, yo. Jamaicans completely commit themselves to Island Time.





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The ride was beautiful and when we went into the water we switched horses and went in bareback except for a pad between us and the horse. The horses went so far in that they were swimming at some parts. It was slightly scary but exhilarating at the same time! Mattie had a BLAST and decided she wants horseback riding lessons when she got home.





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I think we had a day at sea and arrived at our third island -- Grand Cayman. This was one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen. The water was like nothing else. It always amazes me how different the water around each island looks. This water was so deep blue -- cerulean or something like that. We had a quick tour of Georgetown and a visit to Hell where we met the devil. Um... Hell was lame. Like, REALLY lame. It was a teeny tiny little tourist trap with a bunch of dried out coral in the back. The coolest thing would have been to bring our passports so we could have had them stamped from Hell but none of us wanted to bring them out of the safe on the boat! We also stopped at a rum cake store. Not a fan of rum cake. But I did try a meat hand pie thing that was awesome! AND it didn't make me sick!!




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We FINALLY got to our excursion for the day which was taking a boat out to Stingray City to pet and feed and swim with stingrays. My mom was REALLY excited about this one! My excitement slowly drained as we got closer to the spot where we'd have to get in the water. After a bumpy, slightly rainy ride out to the sandbar they docked the boat next to about 10 other boats and told us all to jump in. Usually the water on the sandbar is only about waist to chest level but the day we were there it was really choppy and above our heads in most places. That's when I started to panic! I tried to stay in the center of any group of people I could find because the stingrays were fast and quiet and they would swim up and touch your leg without you even seeing them even though they were HUGE. I did NOT want to get touched. AT ALL. Eventually I was just done with the whole thing when one actually got a fin on me and I hightailed it back into the boat. My mom and Mattie and Danielle got to feed and hold one, though! They seemed to think it was cool. I was happy to stand on the edge of the boat and take pictures!





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Our fourth island was Cozumel, Mexico. Another place where the water was just amazingly blue! My most favorite part of the trip happened here -- we got to swim with dolphins! Well, we actually didn't do much swimming but we did get to pet and hold and kiss them. It was REALLY cool. The place we went to, Dolphinaris, was gorgeous and clean and did not feel at all like we were in Mexico -- if you know what I mean. We all stood on a wide ledge in a pool that was about waist to chest deep while the dolphins swam by us and let us pet and touch and hold them. It was really really cool!!

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We also had some time to do some shopping after our excursion. There were lots of shops right on the dock so we stuck to those. We stopped to get Mattie's hair braided by a lady who was only charging $2/braid. I gave her $4 and she just about cried with joy. We got lots of souvenirs for everyone here since everything is so cheap! We even had some Starbucks!

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Unfortunately on one of the daysI ended up with a crazy sunburn, probably sun poisoning. It wasn't even a burn, it was just intense itching! I went to the spa on board and asked if they had anything that could help with a sunburn because aloe was NOT cutting it. The sure did and the lady slathered it on and it was instant relief! She told me the bottle was $20 and it was a good sized one so I told her I'd take it so that I could actually get some sleep! When she rang it up it was actually closer to $40 and I just about had a heart attack! Needless to say I will use every single last drop of that lotion!!

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My mom and I also decided to take advantage of the spa on board, too. We got to use the therapeutic pools and hot tubs in the Spa. It was AWESOME. I'm still missing it. I'm also missing Juan, our room steward. It was hard to come home and not have someone pick my towels up off the floor for me.



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I'm SO glad we took this trip together! We had never done something like this, just the girls, and I'm hoping it becomes a tradition! Where should our next trip be??

My Instagram Shots from the Cruise! These have a few more details photographed. I didn't take my fancy camera -- too much to worry about. I mostly had are less than stellar point and shoot and my iPhone.