April Travel: downtown LA

This is my second blog in a series about our travels this past month. For more see : April Travel: Baby Shower and First Flight  and zachary 11 months. 

On Wednesday of our week in California, my Mom and I decided to take on a big adventure-chauffeuring Zach around downtown LA.

We took the newly expanded Gold line from Azusa all the way to Central Station in LA.

Zach loved riding the metro the starts and stops, the huge windows to look out of, and of course all the people. Once we got to LA we transferred lines and rode again all the way to Universal City.

For there we took the tram up the hill to Universal City Walk where we finally took a break and had lunch in the food court overlooking the Hard Rock café.

Mom and I enjoyed Pinks, who now has a burrito dog so I was able to have some carbs. Zach ate a few of my Mom’s fries and food we brought for him.

He loved being in the little umbrella stroller where he could see everything. Surprisingly he kept his bucket hat on but didn’t like the sunglasses.

We knew Zach would enjoy the lights, signs, and music of the City Walk. His eye were wide taking in the sights.

At the center of city walk there is a concrete pad with floor lights and water fountains that shoot up to music playing in the background. Kids love to play in the fountain and our welcome to do so.

We thought Zachary would really enjoy the dancing fountains. We were wrong. I think the cold, the fact that they were un-predictable, and much taller than him, made him very unsure. By the end he would step in the puddles if they were not on, but it took some warming up to get there.

Since my last time to City Walk they took out the wave maker at the Billabong store and to access the Universal fountain you have to go through security for the studio park. We were wondering if part of that was because they film Extra at the fountain daily. From a long distance we saw Mario Lopez trying on sunglasses for a show he was filming later in the day.

By this time, Zach was pretty tired, so tired that when the bucket hat slipped over his face he decided to take advantage of it and take a nap, right in the middle of the Ben and Jerry ice cream store. He slept all the way to Menchies where I got some yogurt and woke up just in time to try some no sugar added strawberry yogurt.

We took our time traveling back with the normal commuting crowd and got home just in time for dinner. It was a lot of work to haul a kid in a stroller around LA but the memories were as they say priceless.

April Travel: Baby Shower and First Flight

It’s taken a while to re-group from our long April travels. As Zach’s 11 month blog hinted, there were many new experiences for Zachary this month. So, in the next week or two I will be posting on our April adventures.

The Friday before my sister-in-law’s baby shower, my grandmother and mother flew in and Zach and I drove down to meet them. When we got back we settled in for the evening and worked on our travel plans for the next day. Zach had not met his great-grandma yet, and loved spending time with her, that night she read him a book and fed him his bottle.

The next day, Zach played with three generations of women while we packed everything for the weekend. That afternoon we drove up to the Poulsbo area. Zach was a trooper with the mini road trip, he slept a good portion of the time. We went downtown for a short break to stretch our legs and got a snack at the Danish bakery and some coffee. After a short stretch break down town, this we drove to the hotel, checked in, and met my dad’s parents for dinner.

Sunday morning all the family got together for breakfast. We got to spend a few minutes with Matt and Stina before the shower while everyone at her parent’s place were preparing and decorating.

At the shower Zach loved all the attention from the many moms and grandmas there. He discovered he loved balloons. He also wanted so badly to explore the presents, both before and after they were opened.

That night we drove back to our house and packed for a flight to LA. The next morning, very early, Luke dropped us off at the airport. We went through security, got breakfast, Zachary got out of his PJS and we were ready for our flight.

Zach loved the airport, the decorations, the huge windows, and watching the planes take off. He also did great on his first flight. It helped we were in the very back row, so less people to bother, and the stewardess was flirting with him the whole flight. He slept a little and enjoyed looking out the window, playing with the seat tray and eating snacks.

When in California we ate lunch with my grandmother then went to my parent’s house to regroup. It felt strange to share my childhood home with my child. Showing him my bedroom, having him take a bath where I took a bath growing up, but it was also fun.

My parents had trekked some of his toys from our house down back during spring break, so he had some familiar items. They also got a kiddy pool to use in the backyard along with a late Easter basket including a bucket, shovel, some pool toys, and a swimsuit. Zachary was a little unsure about the kiddy pool but learned to enjoy it after a little while as long as I was with him.

Also during that week Zach had his first hair cut. He was scratching and pulling at his ears because the hair was so long around them that it was tickling him. So we took him to the same person that cut my hair when I was little. He did great.

And that was the first part of our trip. More of our adventures to come.

Zachary: 7 Months

Zach turned 7 months on New Year’s Eve. He spent the day traveling home from Grandma and Grandpa’s lake-house and went to bed at home three hours before midnight.

Zach went to his first Christmas party in Holiday PJs at our Young Family group where we sang carols together. Then at the MOPs party the next day he made his first ornament: a snowman made out of his thumb print.

He also saw the Borst Park lights from his car seat and stayed with a babysitter for the first time so his parents could enjoy a holiday date to see the newest Star Wars movie.

Zachary enjoyed going with us to pick out our Christmas tree from Jensen Family Tree Farm. There was such a great selection of trees it was hard to choose one! We could tell it was time to cut one down because Zach was cold and ready for a nap.

Zachary now has two shiny bottom teeth. The first came in slowly starting at Thanksgiving, the second came much faster through Christmas. Both holiday dinners ended in applesauce popsicles to sooth a sore mouth. Now the teeth have evened out and has a cute toothy grin.

With the help of his new teeth, he has also discovered finger foods. Cheerios and puff cereal are good, he also likes noodles, but his favorite is cheese. He will eat green beans but still prefers his fruits and vegetables in their pureed form

Zach has become a very efficient scooter and is working on a full crawl, getting up on his knees then pushing off with his feet. He is determined to explore everything he is not supposed to, especially the outlets. It was a daily battle to keep Zach away from the Christmas light plug in. Even after turning him around and giving him a toy, he will go right back for the same plug. He now has found ALL of the outlets in the living room.

Zach’s language skills have also expanded. We are have heard him mimic several words he hears often including:   “dada” “mama” “water” and “up” and “kira”. He will say these words  but not always in connection with the person or object.

Zachary spent his first Holiday season visiting family. At both families he had Christmas present opening sessions all to himself, in the afternoons, after his morning nap.

His favorite thing about Christmas presents were the bows and tissue paper, which we had to keep him from eating, along with NaiNai and Papa’s tinsel from their tree. He enjoyed his presents a little too, but our little extrovert mostly liked spending time with everyone.  Bedtime routine was a bit of a challenge, he didn’t want to miss out on the fun!

After we got back from our travels, Zach decided to start off the new year in big-boy crib. He is now settling nicely in his own bedroom for naps and bedtime.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.





October review 2017

October was a crazy busy month that needs recapping. At the beginning of the month, my Mom came to stay with us for the week. She blessed us by watched Zach overnight so Luke and I could go away for our 5th year Anniversary. Yes, it’s been five years.

It took several months to pump and save up the milk needed for that one night away, but it was worth it. We drove out to Westport where we visited for Valentine’s day last year (for more see Day-cation) and stayed in a cottage on the jetty with ocean views. We toured Westport Winery, they had good red wines. Then we tried a unique dinner from Aloha Alabama, a Hawaiian/Southern BBQ fusion restaurant.  I had my first Poke bowl and Luke of course had brisket and ribs, it was great. We thoroughly enjoyed the first full night of sleep in more than four months. In the morning we stopped by Granny Hazels for specialty chocolates, and a thank you treat for Mom, then got coffee and headed back home. It was the perfect get-away.

That week Mom and I did fall baking and holiday décor shopping. I treated Mom to the Country Chicks Fall Festival  at the local fair grounds. We loved exploring vendor after vendor or shabby chic and country themed fall décor and goods. The place with abundant with pumpkins, wreaths, and holiday signs. We walked away with a felt green pumpkin and a used very cheap Pendleton wool blanket as well plenty of ideas for home decor.

The next weekend Mom and I drove down to Stevenson WA, along the gorge, where I helped Mom-in-law with a day conference while my Mom, once again watched Zach. The next day we met my Dad for lunch in Woodburn, did a little Christmas shopping, then Zach and I drove back home in time for our small group at church that night.

We had one full week and weekend to re-group, during which we fought seasonal colds. Then we left at the beginning of the next week for Luke’s parent’s place. Luke and John left early Tuesday morning for a week of hunting at their “elk camp”. Mom-in-law and I had the week together with Zach. During the week, I got a few Christmas cookies made (yes I have to start this early to get them all done; at least this year). We also did Christmas shopping, went to a few meetings, and Zach did a great photo shoot. Zach’s great-grandmother visited on the weekend, then the men came back on Sunday afternoon.

We packed up and left the next morning headed back home then took the CRV in for work. The next day was of course Halloween. On Halloween Zach turned 5 months (more on this to come)! I drove Luke back and forth to work and used the car to run errands and take Zach to a doctor’s appointment.

Because of the crazy-busy month we did not have time to work out any creative or special family costumes like you see all over facebook or pinterest. But Zach and Luke were able to show-case what I got Luke for father’s day: coordinating star wars shirts. I was also wearing a black and grey shirt with yellow words “star wars” on it (although no pics of me).

We ate my homemade pumpkin sausage sauce over gnocchi, our Halloween/Fall Fest special dinner. Then we got in the car (for the fifth time that day) and drove over to the church’s Fall Fest. We toured the games and activities checking them out for future years. Since we live on a country road, we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters but think the church’s fall fest will be a fun alternative in future years.

So, that is our October, and why I was too busy to be blogging. How has your fall been going?