Monday, May 25, 2009

Mmm... popsicles!!

Nothing brings a smile to a kid's face like a popsicle! Here are some photos of Carter enjoying one more than I've ever seen, and Courtney enjoying her first.
Just starting out...I had cut up some pieces for Courtney, but when she saw Big Brother eating one from a stick, she would have none of that and wanted one with a stick too!"Mommy it's sooo cold!"Pure popsicle joy.Orange tongue!Courtney was pretty bummed out when her popsicle fell off the stick - she even tried putting it back on.Oh well Courtney, we'll have more another day... :-)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Playdate at the Pool

Our Memorial Day weekend started out fun with a playdate at the neighborhood pool! We met our friends Rachel and Derek, Natalie and baby Jack, and Alexandra for a wet and wild time, followed by a picnic on the lawn. Good times!

Here's Carter in our super cool neighborhood pool! Carter and Courtney both love the sprinklers along the edge, and how they can walk right into the water as it gradually gets deeper. The buckets up on the tall white pole dump out water when they are full, and the big fountain to the right is lots of fun too!Carter and Courtney splashing in the sprinklers!Friends Natalie and Alexandra - it was hard to get good photos, everyone was just in constant motion!There's also a kiddie pool, which is 1 foot deep all around, and has a sun canopy over the top. Everyone loved playing in this pool too - here's Courtney checking it out.Carter and Rachel had sooooo much fun riding on the noodles!! I think the little girl behind Rachel had a little less fun... oops! :-)We told Carter & Rachel to pose for the camera, this is about as good as it gets...Here they are having a noodle war on the pool's edge...Derek studying the design of the noodle. Look at the concentration... my prediction is he ends up an engineer, just like Mommy & Daddy...This is either Courtney and Derek trying to climb out of the kiddie pool, or Courtney licking the cement, also a strong possibility!There's a fun fountain in the center of the kiddie pool - here's Alexandra checking it out.Courtney's first attempt at sunning herself on a lounge chair. Just a wee bit awkward! :-) "But Mommy, I can fall through these slats!!"Hope you all are enjoying your holiday weekend!!

At Zilker with Grandma & Grandpa

Grandma and Grandpa (Joel's parents) came to visit us right after we got back from San Diego. They were here for a little more than a week, and the kids loved spending time with them. One day during their visit Carter, Courtney, Daddy, Grandma & Grandpa all went down to Zilker Park for an attempt at kite flying, and a picnic (and Mommy was happy to get some quiet time alone in the house, ssssh!) Grandma & Grandpa's visit was too short, but luckily we'll see them again in August at cousin Gina's wedding! Here are some photos:

Grandma and her grandbabiesCarter helping (?) Grandpa put the kite together. The kite flying did not go so well - the kite was a little too fancy!So they played ball with Daddy instead!Carter and Grandma at the picnic, Carter enjoying his fruit!Courtney and Grandpa - it was Africa hot that day, Courtney is a sweaty mess!Grandpa doesn't look too happy in this photo - probably because Courtney wouldn't stop throwing food at him! :-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

San Diego Vacation, Day 7 - Balboa Park and Mission Bay

And here it is, our final day in San Diego! *sniff* After this it was back to reality...! We decided to spend the morning of our last full day in California at Balboa Park, letting the kids run around the rose gardens, fountains and beautiful buildings. There are about a zillion museums located in Balboa Park - most built around 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition. The architecture is really pretty, like on this one:Courtney really enjoyed watching the fountains.Inside the Botanical Gardens (one of the FREE things there), Mommy enjoyed lots and lots of gorgeous orchids!We stopped for a little group photo (minus Daddy!).There was also a beautiful rose garden that Mommy loved!Carter found some wildlife to torment...After our morning at Balboa Park, lunch at McDonalds and naps back in the hotel room, we went for one last visit to the beach. This time it was on Mission Bay, where the water was calm, shallow and perfect for little people to splash in. Courtney hadn't been thrilled with the water on the open ocean, the waves were a little too scary, plus Mommy wouldn't let go of her hand, even in the shallowest water on the shore, for fear of her being sucked out to sea by the undercurrent! But in the bay, Courtney went running right into the water! She LOVED it!Carter loved sitting in the water and digging in the mud with his shovel.I think Courtney is ready for swim lessons!Carter and Daddy even built their own sandcastle!As I'm sure you can tell, we had a wonderful vacation!! Thanks for stopping by to read about it. :-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

San Diego Vacation, Day 6 - Harbor Tour and another beach!

On San Diego Day 6 we decided to spend our morning on a one hour tour of the bay. But before I get to that, here's the view of the bay from our hotel balcony - not too shabby, aye? :-)From our hotel, we walked a few blocks down to the San Diego Harbor Excursion dock. Along the way we passed by the Star of India, a beautiful old ship with huge, white sails. She was built in 1863 and is the oldest active ship in the world - they sail her at least once a year to keep that status, but most of the time she's docked in the harbor as a museum. If you're at all curious you can read about her history here. I also loved that swordfish statue in front of her!As I was taking photos of the statues along the pier I noticed something out of the corner of my eye - there were two dolphins out in the bay!! Carter and I saw them (and another couple on the pier complimented me on my good eye as they enjoyed them too!) - I attempted to snap a few photos but of course they were hard to capture - and then Carter ran over to Daddy to tell him what he had missed!Aboard the tour boat, Carter loved looking at the water.We saw some sea lions sunning themselves on a dock!We passed the Naval Submarine Base and the North Island Naval Air Station. We got to see two huge active carriers docked in the bay - the USS Nimitz (CVN 68, in the foreground) and the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)! It was interesting to learn about the Nimitz - there is an Admiral Nimitz Museum out in Fredricksburg (actually, it's now called The National Museum of the Pacific War!!), which is just west of Austin. I've never been, but I've heard it's a nice museum. I didn't realize that not only is there a USS Nimitz, but the entire class of carriers that the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan belong to is called the Nimitz Class! You learn something new everyday...! (and now I want to go to that museum!!) :-)The skyline of San Diego, as seen from our tour boat.Notice the huge Bay Bridge to the right of the city in the photo above, in the afternoon we crossed that to get to Coronado Island, where we enjoyed more time at the beach. Courtney had fun in the sand...Carter and Daddy splashed in the big waves...And we admired an amazing sand castle built by someone before we got there...There will just be one more post, our vacation is nearly over...

Monday, May 11, 2009

San Diego Vacation, Day 5 - Part 2, Birch Aquarium

In our previous post, we had spent the morning at the amazing and fabulous San Diego Zoo. After the zoo we decided to drive a bit so the kids could nap in the car, and headed up the coast just north of the city to La Jolla, home of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, part of the University of California at San Diego. We sat in the parking lot for a while, letting the kids get as long a nap in as possible. At 4:30 we got them out of the car for a whirlwind tour of the aquarium, which closed at 5pm!! This is what we saw as we walked up to the building - my new all-time favorite fountain!! These whales coming out of the water were just amazing!!The aquarium overlooks La Jolla and the ocean - the view was spectacular!First priority during our short visit was finding the shark tank - another thing on Carter's mandatory must-do list. He's a bit obsessed with sharks lately. He asked several times during the trip if sharks were in the water - when we were at the beach, at the pier, etc. I swear I haven't been saying anything to make him share my phobia!!! :-)Carter posed with Daddy in a big shark mouth!!He also got to stand inside a shark cage - the kind people go down into the water inside to view sharks up close - yikes!!We were too late to touch anything in the tidal pools, they were already covered with netting and the animals were "resting". But the kids had fun looking through the glass sides of the tidal pool, spotting some anemones and starfish.I thought these photos turned out pretty neat, considering they were taken through aquarium glass!Thanks for stopping by - tomorrow we'll go on a Harbor Cruise and head to another beach!