Del Mar- In the Pool (Part I)

My goal is to get all of my favorite Del Mar moments and photos up within a timely fashion. So I will try and have them all posted within the week. Tall order, but I must set a goal or it will be October and I will be publishing summer vacation photos and that won’t do very much for my morale.

You must stay at this hotel by the way. Incredible. You can see last year’s visit here, here, here, here, AND here. Wow, I took a lot of pictures last year. The kids look so little! And Gunnar was missing his two front teeth! AHHH! I love it. I can guarantee you I didn’t take that many photos this time around. I was more in the moment and just enjoying my kids and relaxing. So not to fear, there won’t be that many blog posts this time around about our trip.

I think because the kids are getting older our vacations are becoming more enjoyable for Aaron and I. We don’t have to be in the pool at all times, we can read, we sleep better because the kids sleep better. All around we are finally able to relax during a relaxing vacation.

As you can see in the following photos my family kind of takes over the pool. And fortunately for us, there are several pools at The Grand Del Mar. Whether it’s my sister exercises with her kickboard, the boys diving for rings or lounging in their inner tubes, Greta practicing her strokes, you usually find a good majority of us in the pool at any time during the day. And if we aren’t in the pool than the kids would make friends with anyone who IS in the pool. They quickly became close with a pair of boys from Britain and a girl from Boston. I really loved seeing them and the games they would come up with and the conversations they had. Sawyer came up to me and asked what language William (British boy) was speaking. He asked, “is it spanish mama?” I told him, well do you understand what he says? He said, “yes, but it sounds a little strange”. I told him he wasn’t speaking another language but that he had an accent. First time he’d ever taken note of what an accent sounds like from another country.

Here’s what it looks like when we are IN the pool.

This next one makes me laugh out loud, she’s chillin’ and you see her little red painted toes.

Oh, and there’s only TWO photos the entire trip where I am not wearing a big sun hat. See, I practice what I preach!

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Greta’s self directed photo shoot

I had this post ready to go just knowing when we got home I would be drowning in a pile of dirty laundry, hair infused with bonfire smoke, and a new Madmen episode. This should’ve been posted long ago, I don’t know why I haven’t, I just love these photos. Maybe I was savoring them just for myself for awhile. I do that sometimes, keep a few photos to myself and enjoy them until I’m ready to share. Selfish me.

The morning of her ballet/tap recital she insisted on a mini photo shoot. I mean seriously, how often is she allowed to wear blush and lipstick and actually walk out the front door wearing it? She was in earthly heaven, if one were to exist. She told me where she was going to stand and what smile she was going to make and where I had to stand to take the photo. Kinda bossy, wonder where she gets that from. . .

How do you say no to these eyes?

This one cracks me up because I had to wait until she fixed her skirt just so before I was allowed to take the picture.

Trust me, I felt a bit like Jon Benet Ramsey’s mother this entire day.

Summertime Pops

Popsicle making and eating has been at an all time high with the heat Southern California has been finally experiencing the last few weeks. The last 2 weeks I have been so jealous of my kids’ swim lessons, it’s taking some major self control to not jump in the pool alongside them each afternoon. I’ll be back sometime next week once I recover from our annual camping trip this weekend. Cross your fingers for me, I wasn’t raised camping, but am a post-married camper. I enjoy it but I wouldn’t say I get much sleep while camping.

This picture was taken a few weeks back. The girls enjoyed yogurt, strawberry, and a little milk popsicles.

And this next popsicle you can freeze in layers. The first (top) layer is just plain apple juice. I froze it for about an hour and then made the next layer, watermelon, strawberry slushie and then poured that in and refroze. BIG hit!

I have yet to try this, but it’s a great idea I read about. After you pour apple juice or a semi clear liquid in the first layer you can stick a whole berry, blueberry/raspberry, and push it down into the base. And when you, er your kid, goes to eat the pop, there’s a nice frozen berry at the top!

Happy popsicle eating!

Arcade- Santa Monica Pier

This was the bribery I used for the kids to cooperate for our Santa Monica Pier mini photo shoot. And I have to admit, Aaron and I were pretty excited to show the kids our skee-ball skills. We also crammed into the photo booth and the kids all had their very first photo booth experience. This was the same photo booth Aaron and I took pictures in when we were dating. Awww. How sweet.

You can tell we all forgot what to do in the first photo and then we figured it out.

Wordless Wednesday- Great Grandma (aka Nana)

I’m cheating- a few words. My grandparents had their 60th wedding anniversary party this weekend. SIXTY! I’m extremely fortunate to have 3 of my grandparents still alive today. That means my children have 3 great grandparents they get to spend time with, and I know that’s special because some kids don’t even have grandparents around to get to know. I can remember being Greta’s age and feeling the same way she does about Nana. Nana is one of Greta’s favorite persons in the whole world. They can sit and play with play doh for hours. Feel the love. . .

Book Post

So long overdue! I can’t remember the last books I blogged about and am way too lazy to go back and check my blog posts. But I did recently finish a few good books. And I have 2 that I’m on waitlist for at the library.

I’m so behind, you’ve all probably read this book, but I had to take a few years off from Khaled Hosseini after reading The Kite Runner. I can assure you Thousand Splendid Suns was not as heart wrenching and emotionally damaging to me as The Kite Runner was. That book, took me weeks to recover from. I would sit at the dinner table and just start sobbing thinking about it. This one was excellent, but focuses more on women of Afghanistan. Highly recommend.

I also am way behind on this series, but it was great. I only read the first one. No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, such an easy read, and for me, who is not a huge mystery reader, I really enjoyed it. I just checked out of the library the second one in the series. It takes place in Botswana and is really a lovely book.

Gunnar is almost finished with all 16 books of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole set. He started them as the school year was winding down and then once summer started he went through a book every few days. I think he has one left now. I would recommend them probably for 4-6 graders. I think they would scare Sawyer a bit at his age.

Greta is enjoying her first set of Bob books right now. She’s about halfway through the set. Some days she likes them, some days she throws them at the wall. I get it. Sometimes I feel the same way. She usually only likes to do 2-3 pages at a time and then waits until the next day to read some more.

Sawyer discovered the Dinosaur Cove series when we were in Del Mar. It says that they are for 9-12 year olds, but he’s 6 and reads them fine, although he’s an insanely good reader, I would say 1-2 graders would love them. I really can’t see Gunnar’s age reading them unless they’re big dinosaur fans. They’re a good transition from easy chapter books onto a little harder ones, but before normal kid novels.

I couldn’t tell you what Aaron is reading at the moment, but it’s on his iPad, and I can assure you, it’s most likely boring. It either has to do with space, math, or the invention of something useless.

Let me know of any must reads you’d recommend. I’m on waitlist for The Help and am waiting for Mockingjay to be delivered from The Hunger Games series, but other than that, I have nothing on my list.

Happy Reading!

Some video clips

I know the blog has been a little Greta obsessed lately. And it’s not on purpose, it’s just the boys refuse to let me photograph them at the moment. In fact I had to threaten forced labor to get them to take a family photo before a big anniversary party saturday night for my grandparents. I resort to whatever means possible. I’m just about done editing the photos from our vacation down to Del Mar. But for now, here’s some clips of Greta on vacation.

Here she is at the beginning of our trip.

And here she is a few days later.