Monday, July 28, 2008

They call it puppy love

I am such a sucker. I hear that someone in the office has puppies and is looking for homes for them. Of course I volunteer. I love puppies and Lili needs a playmate. Who cares that at the moment we have 3 cats, 1 fish, 1 dog and 4 kids. With this much chaos, adding one more to the mix doesn't make much of a difference. Or at least that is how I rationalize it to anyone who asks why on earth we got another dog.

Meet Mr. Darcy and you will completely understand. He is a little white ball of fluff. He is just too cute!! He is a maltese, was born 5-21 and probably only weighs a pound or two. The kids adore him. Bella totes him around like one of her stuffed animals. Ryan plays with him all the time (he is such a softie) and Lili... well, Lili is not too sure of him yet. She is putting up with him for now. Our hope is that as Mr Darcy grows, so will Lili's affection for him and they will start to play together.

Check out these pics and you will want one too:

Friday, July 25, 2008


This past weekend we went to Malibu because Riley was in a photoshoot for Seasons, Ltd who make Halloween costumes. We decided to make a fun weekend out of it and our friends, the Climers, came with us so their son could also be in the photoshoot.

Sunday we left early and drove down to Santa Monica. We got there around 11 and found a spot on the beach, right next to the pier. The kids (all 6 of them) were very excited to play in the ocean and to go on the rides at the pier. We spent a few hours at the beach before showering off and heading up to do rides and games on the pier. We let each kid pick one ride and one game and then we kept playing until they all walked away with a stuffed animal (hard feelings thus avoided).

Beach in Santa Monica

My little mermaid

Bella and her prize

The Family on the Santa Monica Pier

Our hotel was The Marriott in Marina Del Rey. It was beautiful and, thanks to Priceline, cheap!! We went to C&O Trattoria for dinner. My sister used to take me there when she lived in LA and it was always a really fun place with yummy Italian food.

View from our hotel room

The kids and I at C&O
Sunday Jenn, Lucas, Riley and I got up early and drove to Malibu for the photoshoot (will post more on that later). The four of us spent the day at the shoot (8:30-4:30) while the dads and the other kids hung out at the beach in Malibu. After the shoot we joined them at the beach and watched Riley go booging boarding. I must say, the beach in Malibu was soo much nicer than Santa Monica. It was cleaner, the sand softer and there were a lot less people. It reminded me of the beaches in Kaua'i!

Beach in Malibu

We left Malibu late and didn't make it home until after midnight. The kids were fast asleep, totally worn out from all the fun in the sun! It was a wonderful getaway! And of course, I have pictures! Click to enlarge!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A horseback riding ballerina

That is what Bella wants to be; a horseback riding ballerina. Not sure if she wants to be doing them at the same time, that would be a sight in itself!

We had Bella's birthday party on Saturday at a place called First Step Farm in Los Osos. I am not normally a fan of Los Osos because it is typically cold and foggy. But, lucky for us, Saturday was beautiful!! I heard about the farm from a friend at work whose daughter takes riding lessons there and also helps with birthday parties. The owner, Michelle, told me about the parties and it sounded perfect.
Bella had 10 friends come to the party. Michelle brought out 3 ponies to ride (Ginger, Black Beauty and Brownie) and one miniature horse (Buttercup) that the kids could brush or lead around the corral.
The kids all had a fantastic time riding the horses! Bella must have ridden a dozen times, it was hard to keep her off. She had a smile on her face the whole time. I know it will be a party to remember! Click photos to enlarge.
Bella and Riley. Bella on Ginger

The gang
Bella and her cupcakes
Happy 3rd! Bella with Buttercup
Bella also started Ballet classes last week. Nona bought her a ballet outfit and shoes for her birthday. I wasn't able to go to her first class but Ryan took her and said she really enjoyed it. It took her awhile to get warmed up to the teacher and the other girls in class, but by the end she was twirling around with the best of them!

Enjoy the photos! (click to enlarge)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Because it's Friday and I am bored at work

I stole this from Jill (thanks Jill!) and thought it would be fun. Here goes:

The instructions: Look at the list and bold those you have read, italicize those you intend to read and underline the books you love.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. 1984 - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (oui! en francias!!!)

Reading through this list, you can definitely tell I am an Austen fan!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Belle, Ballerinas and a bike

Happy 3rd birthday Bella!!

We celebrated Bella's 3rd birthday on Sunday. Nona came over and we had dinner (Bella's choice of pancakes and scrambled eggs) ate yummy cake and then watched as Bella opened her gifts. She was so thrilled with each and every gift. Her response upon opening her gifts was a huge grin and an exclamation of, "Oh! I LOVE it!". She was just too cute. We are having her birthday party this Saturday at a pony farm where Bella and all her friends will be treated to pony rides and pony cupcakes! Here are a few photos of Sunday: (click to enlarge)

playing with the puppy carnival from Grandma Val

Fancy Nancy fun with Nona, opening Auntie Carrie's gift

Barbie Mariposa!! Hmm, wonder what's in here!

New Princess bike!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Recipe for a great 4th of July

(click on photos to enlarge)

You must begin with a good old fashion parade. This one took place in Templeton (my favorite town on the Central Coast).

Then add a barbeque lunch at Nona's complete with lots of watermelon.

Sprinkle in a dash of fun in the pool

Next throw in a trip to Barney Shwartz Park for the big party:

Stir together fun with friends,

slides and bounce houses,

yummy treats

and LOTS of fireworks!!


It doesn't get any better than that!!!