Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pinks and Petersen's

We didn't end up doing much for Father's day since Lily was sick and my Pops was in Iowa. We decided to postpone our plans until his return. Last Saturday we loaded up the car and took the "oldies" on a LA outing. They don't leave Simi much these days. Who are we kidding, they didn't leave Simi much when we were kids either. 

Alex has been wanting to try Pink's hot dogs since hearing so much about it and seeing it on the Food network. No, not on our TV, we live cave man style with no cable. We just go to Grandma's and watch her cable for free! We made it just in time before the lines got too long. We had heard they can be sometimes 2 hours long!!
Alex and Mom had the Chicago dog. Verdict: Not authentic. 
 Lily had a classic...plain, with ketchup. Dad had a special called the Jubilee, or Londoner or something like that. It was a chili cheese dog with bacon or something. It was pretty good.
 The trouble with the chicago dog. They put lettuce, not right, they don't put pickle spears, they don't sprinkle with celery salt, and no poppy seed bun. Not authentic indeed!
From there we loaded everyone up and drove a few miles away to the Petersen's car museum. I am not sure where I heard about it but I knew when I read about it my dad and Alex would be all for it. Luckily they have a lot for kids too so everyone had a great time.
Lily and GG enjoyed the Cars exhibit. I think she was a little confused and thought it was cars land at Disneyland. We have been talking about it lately and thought maybe it was a huge trick!
 She and Gemma both wanted to bust open the cases and play with the figurines.
 I think this one would be perfect for us! Who needs a big SUV?
Gemma found some her size!
The whole third floor was a kids area and it was really fun. We went on a Saturday afternoon but had almost the whole place to ourselves.  Practicing for some F1 racing.

 Grandpa and his ladies.

Finally Gemma gets a chance to sit in one of those beauties!
 It was a fun day out and now the oldies want to tag along on our little "staycations" more often!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Double Besties

When you move away from somewhere and you are very young, you often don't remember much about your early home. When we first moved to LA, Lily talked about our "house down the hill" all the time. She was certain we were just visiting and we would return to Seattle soon. She has long since stopped talking about the house although she does seem to remember a good deal about Seattle.
One constant through the whole time we have been away is her best friend. She talks about her BFF Kat ALL the time. We skype with her and send cards so I am sure she is reminded but really she does remember her best friend in a very real way that is un prompted. So when her BFF and Gemma's BFF Natalie and some of my BFF's came to visit we all had the best time!!! These girls picked up right where they left off like not a day had passed.
We picked up the girls at the airport and headed to Griffith park for a picnic lunch and some fun! Ann's husband David couldn't come so our good friend Clare got to come. We teased that they were "two mom's" for the weekend. I could certainly use an extra mom around here most days. I think we were all about ready to sign up for sister wives after the weekend! Either that or just hire Clare as our personal nanny.
 After the park and playground we drove up to the Griffith observatory to see some beautiful views and take photos with the Hollywood sign. It sure is fun to play tourist!
 I know it is super distant but it was the best we could do with a camera phone and juggling four little girls!
For day two of our girls holiday we took advantage of the great weather and headed to the beach! We went to Malibu since you have to be able to say you went there while in LA. I even managed to produce a pod of dolphins to swim right in front of us. Can you tell I am trying to convince them all to move here?
 We tried to wear the little one's out but I have to say I think they just kept on going while we wore out. They played in the sand for ages.
 Little Natalie is one happy girl. She loved the beach and sand!
 No one napped. We didn't even let poor Clare get any rest! She was on water duty and splashed in the waves with Lily forever.
Two best little girls! They were so cute together, hugging and holding hands. It was like a blast from the past when Lily and Kat were this age together.
Lily and Gemma both are water babies and have no fear. They could get knocked over and get right up and keep going. Thank goodness Clare was such a good sport because I could never have kept them both alive and afloat! They all had sand EVERYWHERE (as Lily proclaimed on the way home, I have sand in my bits!). As soon as we got home we stripped them all and did naked sprinklers to clean off. We almost busted out the baby soap and called it a bath as well.
For day three we decided to stay at home and have some R&R and water fun of our own. The hose, kiddie pool, and sprinklers were plenty of fun.
 All four girls got in on the action. Who needs to pay for a water park?
 Watch out it is a slippery ride! Us sister wives didn't mind some relaxing in the shade. Alex got home from work and mixed up plenty of cocktails and we made pizzas on the BBQ.
On Saturday Ann and Clare and the girls ventured to Hollywood to visit Ann's cousin for the day. Alex got a break from half of the ladies and we rested up for the last half of our visit.
Sunday we all loaded up and drove to Santa Barbara for an afternoon of how the stars spend their weekends. We walked around state street and had lunch and did a bit of shopping.
 We headed down to the waterfront and rode on the carousel. Gemma did much better on her second carousel ride ever. She screamed weeeeee the whole time. Natalie had a first timers experience and was not impressed. She ended up happily sitting with Ann on the bench. Next time she will be squealing with joy.
 Lily and Kat had matching brown horses and loved every last minute. We headed to the beach and pier after the carousel but the kids were getting worn out. Lily does not manage well after too many days of excitement and less sleep. She is not a go with the flow type. I hope she improves before finals week in college or it will be pretty grim. Luckily Kat is such a trooper! It was a long car ride home filled with every camp song known to man, and then some.
On the last day of the visit we went to our local u-pick farm. It is so corny but the kids love it. We rode ponies of course.
Marshmallow must have had the day off.
 There was fun in the sand box.
 Complete with mini John Deer races. Gemma takes her tractoring very seriously.
 The cow train is always a big hit despite the bumps and dust.
 I am still planning on marketing this idea all over the country. Genius!
 Then came the always fun cow bouncy house. It was so fun and all four girls had a go. We didn't even have to crawl in to rescue either of the little girls. They just kind of got bounced around all over and laughed. It was all fun and games until it had to end. Then it was all hot, tired, and tearful. Did I mention Lily does not handle too much excitement well?
She really doesn't handle her best friend having to go home well either! Don't worry ladies, we will come up and see you soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Squeaky Clean

We have been doing some "spring cleaning" this summer. Getting us all in to see a new dentist. It was the first visit for Gemma, and the second for Lily. I think Lily couldn't wait to go after I told her they had a treasure chest full of toys you got to choose from at the end. Gemma pretty much just wants to do everything Lily does.
We started out by catching up on some magazines. Bonus of going to the dentist you get to read the magazines in the waiting room. Another bonus of going to mom's dentist is because they are not a specific pediatric dentist they LOVE having kids. They got so much attention from everyone in the office.
 Now it was time to get to work. Penguinity got his teeth cleaned too.
 This was the first time they actually cleaned Lily's teeth with all the dental tools. At her first visit when she was two, they just inspected her teeth and then brushed them. She did great! I think she even liked it all. Let's just say she doesn't take after me. At this age I was pretending to need the bathroom and sneaking out of the dentist office.
 This little peanut? She had a great time too. She sat in the chair. Had her teeth photographed, inspected, and brushed. Let's just say if big sister does it, I can do it too! Oh and prizes and bribery don't hurt.
They did so well we stopped at the store for treats after. Gemma picked out Thomas toothpaste and Lily got her so very desired "design your own toothbrush". Who knew oral hygiene could be so fun?

Green thumb

I realize I have not done a garden update in a while. I know you are all sitting on the edge of your computer chairs waiting to see how it is going. We have already harvested all our broccoli (4 heads in the end) and four squares of beets. That ended up to be about 40 beets! We did not harvest them all at the same time so spreading it out over a month or so it was just about right. We have had a rough go with the cauliflower and snails. We will see if they ever produce any actual cauliflower. We were not impressed with our carrot harvest. They were small, funny shaped and not very tasty. Not sure I would bother again. 
 Lily wanted to be in the photo but the sun was in her eyes so she had to cover them.
This is square one. We have four heirloom tomato plants. Four cauliflower. Six stalks of corn. Three bell peppers. Two brand new okra, and one more square of newly sprouting beets.
 Alex built the "cages" as part of our original plan to trellis the tomatoes, cucumber, beans and squash. We decided to do it all around and cover it with bird netting to keep out the squirrels and rabbits. The corn is not appreciating it with the height restrictions.
 The second square has two zucchini plants, two pole beans, three french beans, three cucumber, several bell peppers, some cauliflower, three lettuce squares, one japanese eggplant, and one basil.
So far it has been a fun project for the whole family. We love to go outside and inspect and tend the garden. We love harvesting and eating our bounty. We already have plans for next years garden expansion and watering system. Now if only we could speed up the growing process and get eating some of those tomatoes!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012


If you are from this side of the "pond" and don't watch much BBC or Katie Couric specials you may be unaware that last weekend was the celebration of the Queen's 60th diamond jubilee. This means Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne for 60 years! Wow! We did some celebrating on this side of the pond. It was surely no match for Englands big parties but we had a great time. 
Saturday we headed to a jubilee fair supporting the British women's home. Rachel's mom Janine is a member of the local chapter and so is Grandma England when she is here. They put on a wonderful fair with British food, tea, and even traditional entertainment.
 No, this is not Rachels dad, Dan!!  It is a  beefeater who guards the tower of London. Well, I am not sure how much guarding this guy did but he was pretty authentic looking.
 They had a flag ceremony and played the national anthems.
 We enjoyed wonderful weather while watching the dancers.
Lily had the best time in the bouncy house. She would have stayed all day. 
 She got her face painted as well.
Oh and she adopted a new friend. A dalmation beanie baby. Here is a video of the Morris dancers. 

On Sunday Janine had invited us ladies over for a proper afternoon tea party. It was wonderful and so beautiful to relax in the garden. She did a fantastic job.
The food was all amazing. Not to mention all the decor!
Lily adored her first tea party and was so proud of herself for drinking "milky tea" with a touch of sugar.
As an added bonus we got to go visit Dan's horses, Topper and Nemo. She loves riding ponies but I think it is going to take a while to work up to the big guys.
The neighbors have goats that you can touch right through the fence. Lily is still talking about them and we have to keep telling her, no we are not getting a goat.
It was a wonderful weekend filled with British culture and celebrating. We would have loved to be in England for some of the festivities. Well, we would have loved tickets to the Queens Jubilee concert but that didn't happen. I think we did a pretty good job right here at home.