Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 in Review


I have so enjoyed reading several of my friends' "year in review" photoblogs, so I decided to put one together myself.  I tried to stick to one or two photos per month, but some months were just too exciting to have one picture only.  =)

January
Started out the year with happy, healthy kids; Charlie started practicing his letters.
 February
Charlie turned four and Felicity got her ears pierced.
 March
Spencer came home.  Felicity dislocated her elbow and spent several days in a sling before a specialist could pop it back in (her delightful arm rolls prevented the regular urgent care from putting it back in for us.)  Charlie started playing pee wee soccer.
 April
Greg got through finals and finished his second year of law school, and then set out for Mississippi for a sales job.  First we enjoyed a nice Easter, complete with egg hunt.
 May
Felicity turned two.  Charlie promotes from his play group preschool.
 June
Charlie officially starts swimming (Felicity quickly follows) and Daddy returns home after two long months away.  We spend almost every other Monday night of the summer at the beach, bonfire-ing with friends.
 July
Felicity discovered how to get out of her crib.  We put in some serious cousin time at a week in Coronado.
 August
 Felicity discovered how rewarding going potty on a toilet was, as she received a marshmallow when she did (still not totally transferred to the world of underwear, but the process started in August) and we enjoyed three days at Disneyland as a family before Greg started his third and final year of law school
September
First day of preschool!  Greg and I enjoyed our birthdays.
 October
 The acquisition and death of their first little goldfish, Charlie's first field trip (to the pumpkin patch), and Halloween.
November
Attended a Charger's game with my brother, and Charlie played a pilgrim at his Thanksgiving play at school.
 December
We had a great Christmas with family.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Snow

We had big plans to party over Christmas break this year.  With all the distaste I have for law school (which is a lot), I suddenly realized that this is the last year where Greg will have "nothing" for a couple weeks (he went into the firm a couple times over the break, but it's easy for him to work around a schedule there).  So, I thought we should maybe head out to Utah and see some of our lovely friends, as well as enjoy the snow (first time for my kids) and the temple lights.  While my husband, who would have been responsible for much of the driving, had his reservations, he is generally willing to indulge in what I want to do, so he would have gone along with it.  Unfortunately, we were going to have to squeeze things in, because Greg had the week before Christmas and the week of Christmas off, and Charlie didn't get out of school until the week of Christmas, and then had the week after Christmas off, when Greg was going back to school.  So we only had one week where everyone was out of school, which was the week of Christmas.  I put in vacation time at work, but then we ended up closing escrow on one of the hotels we own (seriously, this thing has been put off since August.  I almost died of shock when I found the sale was actually going through), set to close the Friday after Christmas.  Therefore, my vacation was cancelled, and we had exactly two days where everyone was off work and school, and that was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  The Utah plan was scrapped, but a friend offered an alternative plan.  Apparently Mt. San Jacinto is just outside Palm Springs, and there is an aerial tram (like the zoo's skyfari, but on steroids) that takes you from the bottom of the mountain up 8500 feet to the top.  There was seven inches of snow on the ground, and best yet, for my husband, there was no driving in the snow to get there.

On our way up.

 The snow was really powdery, and almost impossible to compact into snow balls or a snow man.  So we maybe cheated a tiny bit.  There was a snow person already made that Greg found, and he took it apart and took off the decor, and then our kids roll it together and add the face and arms.  And they were pretty proud.
 Sledding.


 The snow was so fun, until the second it was not fun anymore. 
It was really fun, and something to do every year, for sure.  The things I would do differently next time:
1) the tramway station is at the top of a long pathway which is paved, and you go down to get to the snow.  When the kids were tired at the end, we had to haul them back up the pathway.  I would bring my cheap umbrella stroller and leave it at the bottom of the path for getting them back up to the station.
2) Lollipops for the tramway down.  It's like descending in an airplane, and their ears were really hurting them, and they kept saying "but I just can't yawn, mommy!"
3) Actual snow gloves for the adults.  We borrowed stuff for the kids, but didn't worry about ourselves.  We went to college in Utah and we were fine (I had knitted gloves, but not waterproof).  But apparently when we lived in Utah we never had to roll a million snowballs for children, so our hands were COLD.
4) Snow boots, which cinch up.  We borrowed one pair, but it was too small, so next year I will more diligently search out pairs for each child that fit.  It wasn't the hugest deal because I put them in three pair of socks each, but right at the end Felicity was complaining that there was snow in her shoes.
5) They have hot water at the top... and the hot chocolate packets are $3.  No way.  Bring some hot chocolate packets, just for fun.

We really recommend the trip for anyone looking for an easy day trip to the snow.  The tramway prices are a little expensive, but when you think about it, you are saving a lot of money on gas from just going to Palm Springs, plus you save on lodging, if you were going to go stay somewhere.  We brought food up with us, but there are restaurants there (pricey for what you get, as far as I could tell), and in general you can do it on a budget.  It's going to be a Christmas tradition from now on, for sure!

December Insta

As previously discussed, instagram is just too easy when faced with the choice of using it or hauling around a regular camera.  But, I've been neglecting my blogosphere (I actually had 188 unread posts on my reader when I checked the other day... I have been neglecting it in more ways that just failing to post things) but with instagram and facebook and what not, I don't think very many people are reading boring mommy blogs anymore (just the interesting ones where people have original thoughts, etc.)  So I have lost some of my motivation, but as with Christmas cards, I enjoy reading other peoples' still, so I have to do my part to continue the concept.  So, here are some photos from instagram this December.

Last Christmas we got Charlie one of those bikes that has no pedals.  If you aren't on the mommy circuit, and/or don't care about things like how to teach your child to ride a bike: the current "thing" (or it was current last year) was giving your child these tiny bikes where they could learn to balance without having to learn simultaneously how to pedal ones self (regular bikes with training wheels teaching the child how to pedal but no sense of balance).  Anyway, they are a little expensive, but we had seen them and been interested when they showed up for a good price at Costco before Christmas, so we got him one for under the tree.  He has basically completely ignored it for eleven months.  I had officially decided that Santa would give up on being up to date on the latest and greatest items in the child world, and would just bring him a regular bike with training wheels this year, but all of the sudden in December, he noticed it again, and has decided he loves it!  So, Santa held off on the regular bike, and we are hoping he will be proficient enough to need a regular bike for his birthday this year.

 First day of finals.  This is our feeling about missing Greg.
 I made this!!  I am totally uncrafty, and fine with it, but I had been thinking about something like this for years (I actually didn't get it off pinterest, I had heard of it before then, but I am sure there are some on pinterest) and this year I finally did.  I cut the tree (it's about Charlie's height, which is around 42 inches) out of a large piece of felt, which I bought at Michael's, and the ornaments out of felt scraps I already had.  With the exception of the reindeer (Greg drew it freehand; he is talented like that) I did these all myself.  The large round ornaments were made with a cup as a template, and the small ones are with a tea light candle.  The "trunk" of the tree is a pouch that holds all the ornaments and lights.  It took me a really long time to make, and my kids played with it some, but I was really proud of my hard work.

 We passed some mistletoe while looking at Christmas lights. (This was after finals were over so we had a man in our lives again.)
 Ninja bread men!