Friday, July 27, 2007

beach days

This summer we've been going to the beach on Tuesdays. We head out of town around 11 and spend the afternoon on the sand. By the time we pack up and leave after 4, the kids are absolutely wiped out and a beautiful quiet settles over the car as I drive home. Our afternoon is spent with our friends, digging giant holes, running in the waves and trying our best not to eat sandy snacks. The only thing I don't enjoy is that it takes me nearly a week to clean up all the sand that gets tracked into our house. By the time I get everything out it's time to pack up and go again. But you see, I'm a clean freak and so it is kind of a sick pleasure to sweep the floors and do laundry.....yeah, I know, I'm sick......

learning to eat

Why is eating so hilarious the first years? Cameron provides us with plenty of laughs as she discovers new foods. Here she is with an ice cream bar and a cupcake (no, not on the same night, these are special occasions...). And yes, she still enjoys cleaning up afterwards....

Friday, July 13, 2007

family movie night

Tonight I had a great idea: family movie night! We spread out a blanket on the floor, set out our Taco Bell feast and popped a video into the VCR. We had been given a copy of "Gordy" and I thought this would be the perfect night to watch. Boy, was I wrong! What's the deal with kid's movies? Why must the main character (always a kid or young animal) be immediately orphaned? And then they embark on an adventure to find the true meaning of family, their inner strength and their sense of humor. Has anyone sat down with a very sensitive 5 year old to watch one of these things lately? We were barely 5 minutes into "Gordy" when I looked over to see Jason's lips quivering and his eyes welling with tears. "Can we turn it off please?" I thought maybe another pig movie would be just the ticket to restore his faith in cinema so I put in "Charlotte's Web" (the old animated version). I had to encourage him to hang on and wait just a few more minutes until Fern's dad agreed to let her keep Wilbur instead of killing him because he was a runt. Good grief, what were we going to do when Charlotte died? I am very glad that Jason is such a sensitive kid. How is it that I've forgotten all the awful circumstances that set the stage for so many classic kid movies? I guess I should be grateful for the Cedarmont Kids although I've been gritting my teeth lately with every song that they sing. The Cedarmont Kids made a huge lines of videos in the early 1990's. Every video is about 30 excruciating minutes of overacting, hand motions and sickeningly sweet kid songs (just remember King's Kids and you're halfway there). Cameron and Jason sit glued to the couch in a vegatative state every time they watch one of these DVD's. And just our luck, the local library just got a new copy of Silly Songs (a Cedarmont joint) so we've been the 1st, 3rd, and 4th people to check it out so far.
Well, movie night ended up a bust. By now you've probably guessed that Cameron took off to find something more interesting to do (where there's silence...there's trouble, and somehow she colored my knee blue) and Jason took up coloring while Wilbur was at the State Fair. I fell asleep on the couch(thus the blue knee) and Darren checked in with his fantasy baseball stats. Maybe next Friday night I'll try Family Movie Night again, only this time I know to stick with the wholesome Cedarmont
Kids.... and stay away from pigs!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

4th of July

Happy 4th of July! Our lives have changed dramatically since having kids. One of the ways this is evident is in our celebrations. We kicked the day off with a trip to Cayucos and we were on the beach by 10a.m. (when you are awakened at the crack of dawn by two chatty kids, what's to stop you from getting an early start on the day?). We started with a web cam geocache (the GPS led us to a designated spot on the beach, from there we called Darren's dad with the web site info to capture our pic on a local hotel's web cam, that's the cache). We then checked out the sand sculpture contest. These are a few of our favorites. We ate lunch on the beach then headed back inland around 1. This gave Cameron ample time to nap before going to Grammy and Papa's for a BBQ. I hated to leave the coast, it was a perfect day at the beach. Paso Robles was sweltering near 110 degrees, you can barely breathe at that temp. The kids enjoyed the wading pool and hose in Grammy's backyard and Jason had Grandma Jean doubled over in laughter during a wild game of Old Maid. Now this is the part where I admit that we didn't actually watch live fireworks on the 4th of July: we didn't watch live fireworks this year! Instead we headed home at 8:30, put the kids in bed and watched fireworks on TV. How sad! Even sadder was the smug satisfaction of not being stuck in post-firework traffic with cranky kids. We used to be so different.....

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Today is day 2 of our geocaching vacation. Yesterday we found 14 caches! We started the day at 8a.m. with breakfast at McDonald's (you can't go wrong when you take kids to McDonald's!). The next stop was a series of caches in Atascadero entitled "city streets". As you may have guessed, all these caches were located on streets with city names. Everything was going well and Cameron was in a reasonable mood. We walked along the new walking trail along Morro Road, found a cache in a guide wire on Santa Rosa St. and then headed over to Santa Barbara Rd. This is where I got spooked. Jason and I were climbing along a hillside on the side of the road when the GPS indicated that we had arrived. We were at a cluster of shale (sp?) rocks and I began moving them around to see if the cache was hidden behind them. Jason was standing above me and mumbled something about a rock falling down the hillside. At that same time a small silver sportscar drove by. The rock barely missed hitting the car. I looked up just in time to catch the eye of the passenger. I felt relieved and kept in looking for the cache. About a minute later the car drove by again and this time the driver stopped to chew me out. Now, in geocaching you are supposed to appear inconspicuous, and so I stumbled over my words and apologized as much as I could without revealing why we were up on the hillside. At this point I wanted to give up and go back to the car where Darren and Cameron were waiting but Jason convinced me to keep looking. We found the caches a few moments later but that incident really shook me up! We moved on to 2 more city streets then headed over to Paloma Creek park for 2 more caches. Our favorite one at Paloma was hidden under a fake rock.
In the afternoon while Cameron napped, Jason and Darren found 2 caches on Spring Street that we had tried before but not previously found. In the evening Jason and Darren got the bug to go out again and this time they brought Papa along. They found 3 caches and discovered the Estrella Adobe, a little church in the country with a graveyard in the back dating to 1885.
This morning we dined on donuts and took off to north Atascadero to find a series of caches on the de Anza trail. We got a late start this morning (9:45), and by the time we found the last cache at 11, the sun was blazing hot and we were drained! It would have been more fun exploring the dry Salinas River if Cameron was a little older, but that's part of the adventure.