Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekend in Santa Barbara

Jerad is working on a remodel project about 6 hours away in Twentynine Palms and will be gone for at least a week, maybe two. I decided instead of sitting around moping I would pack up the crew and spend a few days visiting my sister and her hubby in Santa Barbara! The kids love them to pieces and we don't get to see them very often. For the first year of Marshall's life we were next door neighbors, then we lived in the same town for the next two years. 

It was a challenge getting all the errands and shopping and cleaning and packing and pet sitting arranged without a lot of notice but I managed. While the boys were in preschool I took Emery and waited for an hour to get my oil changed, cleaned the car and filled up with gas, and the library for some new books to keep the boys occupied in the car. During the oil change they discovered I had a nail in my tire and offered to fix it... For $35. Since I'm cheap, I went to the place that I bought the tires from since I knew they'd do it for free. I had all the kids with me by that point and we had to wait for an hour so in retrospect probably should have just forked over the $35, but we made it and Marshall had everyone at the tire store cracking up before we left.

This is everything Jerad needed for a 1-2 week stay; one small suitcase and a laptop bag:

And me and the kids for a 3 day trip:

Absolutely rediculous. And I try not to be a crazy packer! There was also one ice chest of food not pictured.

I wanted to leave Friday after breakfast at 8am, and we managed to pull out of the driveway at 8:30 so not too late. I thought if we were there in time for them to run around then settle down maybe they'd nap (hahahaha). No one had to stop to go to the bathroom, eat, or get their wiggles out so we were able to drive straight there (besides a Starbucks drive thru stop as we were leaving town). I attribute that to some terrible audio books about "Nate the Great" I got at the library. In retrospect I wish I had got Percy Jackson or Harry Potter or something that wouldn't drive me insane to listen to, I bet the kids would have stayed interested.

When we got there the boys played in the back yard for awhile while I made lunch then I tried to get everyone to nap. Emery finally passed out for a little bit, but the boys would not. Then I took the kids to the park to get out of the housekeeper's way and burn some time before Melinda and Larry got home from work. We went to Alameda Park which is only about a mile away and amazing: 

Not gonna lie, I was relived when it was time to leave. The park is huge and was packed, and it was hard to keep eyes on the boys. I'm pretty sure they had a pow wow before we left and decided to just stop listening to me all weekend as well. Luckily my sister and her husband were around the rest of the time to help chase and corral!

The next morning after breakfast we all went to the Ty Warner Sea Center, which is like a small aquarium.

Marshall is super obsessed with sharks right now and got to pet some so he was really happy.

After that we walked over to the beach:

Marshall had a ton of fun running all down the beach and back and playing in the waves. Miller is a little more cautious:) 

We went home for naps (Miller and Emery each took a short nap), then back to Alameda Park. Even with one adult per kid we managed to lose Marshall for awhile:) I didn't get pictures of the boys who were climbing and running all around with their aunt and uncle, but Emery had fun too:

Jerad originally was planning on leaving for the dessert on Friday, but one of the jobs he was working on took a little longer than he had planned so he ended up leaving Saturday night instead. He stopped by for dinner and a movie so it was nice getting to see him one more time! He left Melinda and Larry's house around 11:30pm and got to the hotel around 3:30am. But before you start feeling sorry for him, remember: he's getting 1-2 weeks of sleeping through the night and no early morning kid wakeups!

That night was horrid. Emery woke up every 30 minutes. All freakin night. Marshall and Miller were awake from 2-3:30am. Then Emery woke up for the day at 5. I don't know if it was the two days of bad napping catching up (Marshall usually sleeps 2-3 hours, Miller 3-3.5, Emery two naps for a total of 4-5 hours), or just being out of their element. But it was bad. 

Sunday we went to the Santa Barbara Zoo:

Even though there are a ton of amazing animals, the boy's favorite things are the train (of course):

And the rediculously corny Dino show. I think both Marshall and Miller think they're real. We saw the show when we visited when Emery was 5 weeks old and both boys still frequently talk about "Duncan the T-Rex." At one point Marshall got a little scared and he scooted closer to Uncle Lars haha:

After that we dropped off Melinda and Lars and headed home. I had tossed around the idea of staying one more night since there wasn't anywhere we *had* to be on Monday, but the kids weren't sleeping well, which meant I also wasn't sleeping well, and the boys weren't being bad per se, but definitely not being good listeners either. So getting back to our own routine and beds sounded like a good plan. 

The drive back went so well (no fussing, fighting, or even whining the whole way!) that I decided to reward us all (minus Emery) with In 'n  Out AND chocolate shakes which the kids has never had. We got home before 4 and the kids were happy to veg out and watch cartoons while I unpacked and cleaned out the car. All three were asleep by 7:05pm, the boys slept until 7am, and even though Emery woke up a few times it was still a good night and she slept till 7 as well. Here's hoping the rest of the week/weeks is smooth sailing as well!

*I wrote this on my phone so, sorry for any autocorrect or format weirdness. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Catching Up: Jerad's 31st b-day

 Well, Jerad's birthday was way back in October but we had so much fun celebrating I don't want to forget about it:) We BBQ'd then had a softball game! I think it's going to be a yearly tradition. We had two teams of 8. I was so proud of my family, my two sisters and dad both played... and we are not sports people. At all.

Grandmas holding babies:

Grandpas relaxing after the game:

Next time maybe I'll be brave enough to play. And we'll plan it more than a week in advance...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Still here

Well, it's been a little over 4 weeks since we enrolled Miller in preschool 2 mornings a week with Marshall. 

had these visions of using the 4 hours to sit in a cafe and slowly savor a cup of coffee while Emery happily played in the stroller and I caught up on blogging. Or maybe walking downtown and window shopping. Or meeting a friend for breakfast and getting to slowly chew my food. Or maybe going crazy and getting that pedicure that's 6 months overdo. 

This funny thing happens when you have three kids three and under -- all of a sudden having "only" a baby to take care of literally feels like having no kids. So I was looking forward to savoring some "no kid" time.

Except the 4 hours is really more like 3.5 because usually the kids eat breakfast too slow and we're a little late. Then by the time I walk the boys in and give them hugs and kisses and drive home I have about 3 hours left. Then I discovered pickups go a lot smoother if I get there a little early so they get to play a bit instead of me swooping in and them having to stop what they're doing to go home. So all in all I have a 2.5 hour block of "free time" twice a week and I've consistently used it to go grocery shopping and run errands. A few times I've gone to SLO to pick up building permits or special order materials for Jerad because it seems silly for him to have to stop working and drive all that way when I'm free. 

Things are going great. I'm really in the groove these days. Our weeks are packed with play dates, park trips, adventure walks, crafts, story times, library/zoo/swim/beach/random trips. Sometimes days go by without any tantrums and lately even nap time and bedtimes have been a breeze. I'm cooking all of our food from scratch and we're on a mainly paleo/primal diet. Heck, most days I'm even on top of our never ending laundry situation. 

Jerad's business is going great, he's currently having to schedule new jobs about 2 months out and is working on a bunch of large projects! Which means that we see him for about 20 minutes in the morning most days and everything else is up to me. I don't have any help (aside from the aforementioned 2.5 hours T/TH). It was hard enough getting our families to babysit when we had two kids so close in age... Then we went and added a third! 

At the end of the day I just don't have energy for One More Thing. So blogging has taken a back seat. I guess I'm so busy living my life I don't have the time to talk about it:) I have a million things I want to write about. Um, Emery will be 9 months soon and I haven't even written her birth story! But I *love* looking back through old blogs and reliving Marshall's and Miller's baby days and remembering things I would have completely forgotten had I not taken the time to blog about. So I'm going to try to do better. I think I say that every few months and for the past 2 years it's just gotten worse and worse. Maybe this time I'm actually telling the truth? :)

And since it has been so long, here's a few recent pics: