Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Independence Day

Since the fourth of July fell on a Friday this year we decided to get out of town for the weekend. Alex took Thursday off work and after swim lessons we drove up to Carpinteria. We haven't been to the beach combo since Granny left in March! Now that's a crime. It was all ready for us to soak up the sun. We wasted no time getting settled and into the wagon for a trip through town.
This little sunshine got a new hat for summer. I think it really suits her.
Little Miss Grouch face. She couldn't be pouty, we stopped for ice cream in town on the way to the playground.
Then the train passed by which is one of the highlights of the playground. The girls always mention they took that train to the zoo one time with Grandma Nini and Grandpa Dan.
Enough playground, it's high time we get to the beach. Would you like a little sand with your swimsuit?
Gemma is just tutu cute! She wore this suit for practically three days straight when she got it and now I have to bribe her to wear it. Crazy girl!
After a couple hours at the beach we worked up an appetite. After a quick bath and change of clothes we headed to our fave spot. Padaro Grill. 
They even had live music, kids from a local school of rock. They were pretty good and all the kids had fun running and dancing on the grass.
This video of the girls dancing just cracks me up.

Friday the 4th we were up bright and early to head to nearby Ojai for their parade. It is adorable and never disappoints.
We have the whole routine down now. Where to park, walk, and sit in the shade. We had to kill about 30 minutes before the parade started but there was plenty to watch and breakfast to eat.
One nice lady in the parade gave the girls flags since mommy failed to bring anything even though we own buckets of fourth of July supplies.
Then the cutesy parade began. It is full of little kids, gymnasts, schools, and marching bands.
Lots and lots of Mexican dancing horse groups. They are awesome but also freak me out. No surprise there, I have a thing about horses and "dancing" ones right in front of my kids can be added to the list.
We wore our appropriate colors. Even Gemma, who is averse to wearing anything I want her to, ever.
One of my favorite groups was the bucket drum band. One lady played a watering can, another a tupperware bowl. Why not really?
The Hare Krishna's are always a big hit. Ojai is still pretty hippie dippy.
The best of all was a group of older ladies who work at the local florist and followed a cart of roses singing the ever popular "Happy" song. Once was on rollerblades and they all had the dance moves choreographed. I wanted to hop up and join in!
After the parade we made our way back to Carp to hit the beach again. We knew the beach would be crowded so we loaded up our beach gear and walked down. The girls have it made. A free ride and an ice cream sandwich.
It was super packed but a great day.
Nothing better than junk food on the beach.
My girls love to play in the waves and scream, scream scream.
As if we didn't have enough beach time already we went to a favorite nearby beach Sat AM for a peaceful walk with the dog. Now this is the way I prefer the beaches to be, empty. It was actually crowded over by the parking area but we went on a long walk by the rich rich houses.
We did some sea glass hunting, and found a good bit.
See Granny? We found you some!
The "crunchy" sand is perfect for jumping.
We found a deserted surf board that was begging to be posed on.
Let's go surfin' now! Until a cute 10 year old boy informed me it was his board and I thought, well that's ok, this girl will be your girlfriend in a few years and then you will have to share anyway.
 That's ok. We can pose on this old stump too. Thing one,
Thing two. Actually, it's the other way around.
Then we have to jump too.
I found my house. Now we just need to save about 6.3 million dollars. At least.
As if we didn't have enough sun and water we headed back to the condo for a dip in the pool. We are setting a personal record having swum every day for probably the past three weeks. Fair to say everyone was wiped out after this weekend!
Time to head back home to shake the sand off and take Grandpa Lee to church on Sunday. 

SIX is the best

I don't know why but my favorite number has always been six. Now we can't play pick a number between one and ten because you know I will always pick six. I used to say it was my favorite number because it was the best year of my life. I'm not sure about that but it was a pretty darn good year if I remember. Here's to Lily's sixth year and may it be the best year of her life, at least so far anyway.

She woke on Sunday June 29th (she was born on a Sunday as well so this was extra special) to a gift all the way from Greece. Well, the bike didn't come from Greece but it came from Granny and Grampy England who were in Greece. It is a Tinkerbell bike, in purple. Maybe the best combo ever. Now we have to officially ditch the training wheels. 
The birthday girl hat made it's appearance. Lily said it was a good thing I had two girls since we have a birthday girl hat, good thing indeed,
It's not a birthday without a breakfast of M&M pancakes.
Then it was time to hit the pavement on the new bike. She even got a bike seat for Mary from Charlotte and Elias. Gemma is now full time owner of the hand me down bike. Don't let the grin fool you, she was less than pleased to have the "old bike."
All dressed up for the day and showing off her Tinkerbell tattoo.
Then it was time to get down to work and frost some cupcakes. We had lots of volunteers to help with that job.
We made vanilla funfetti and chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes.
They are expert decorators. Expert tasters too.
It didn't take but a blink of an eye for little sprout to disappear and try out the new bike for herself. A pretty nice fit.
Before long it was time to head out to the gymnastics center for her birthday party with her classmates. We decided on the venue a month or so ago and so it was going to be a gymnastics party but Lily was not thrilled that she couldn't have a tinkerbell theme so she merged her favorites and it was a "fairy gymnastics" party.
It was her first friends party and it was a blast. We invited the whole class knowing people would be out of town in summer and about 10 came, a good mix of boys and girls.
They had all kinds of tumbling and climbing equipment. The birthday girl got to try out every station and demo them for her friends, then it was open play for them all to try it out.
They were all hot and sweaty running around. They all had a blast.
Gemma got to participate too and had so much fun. She really thinks she is a kindergartener in Lily's class so she fit right in. She has a special friend Max in Lily's class.
Both girls love gymnastics and would love to take lessons at the California Cartwheel Center.
Lily and Scarlett toss the ball on the trampoline.
Gemma did not let her size stop her and did everything. Look at this little monkey.
At the end they have a special treat for the birthday girl. She got harnessed in and got to fly like Tinkerbell!
After the hour of fun we had snacks for all the kids and of course those cupcakes! They were a hit and since we had two flavors we had a lot of requests for seconds.
Here is the whole crew! Will, Max, Gemma, Sabina, Lily, Scarlett, Grant, Eden, and Saoirse.
Once we bid farewell to her friends we headed home to relax and open presents of course. I think Lily was more than a little excited about this portion.
She got so many awesome gifts and it looked like a tissue paper bomb exploded.
She even let some of her VIP family members try out her gifts. Grandpa Lee helped out with her flying fairy, it is pretty cool.
Little sprout was eyeing the cupcakes in the next room. We invited family over for pizza that evening to celebrate Lily's birthday with us so there were plenty of cupcakes for round two.
It was a beautiful evening and we all sat outside for dinner, drinks and dessert.
It was a pretty magical day and hopefully one she will remember for a long time. The girls talk about past birthdays all the time and remember their "themes" and cakes. It makes such a special memory for their special day. It was pretty fun to wake up the next day in new PJ's and start in on some crafts with new supplies. Gemma is already planning and plotting her special day in September.
This is a slow-mo video of the cool fairy toy Goppy got Lily.