Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Birthday Boy

Our "birthday season" rounded out today as we celebrated Daddy's birthday!
I'll bet he's glad that we got the minivan before he turned 35! Every man's aspiration - ha, ha!
Adam and I are looking forward to a little adventure next month to celebrate his birthday - kids free style!
But for today we wish our Best-Daddy-Ever a very Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Never Say Never

A couple of years ago when I posted this, I never thought it was even a remote possibility that we would be purchasing one. I always vehemently swore that I would NEVER be caught dead in one of those. In my pre-mom...actually pre-mom to two days, I couldn't understand why people didn't just stick to SUVs - why switch to the dreaded minivan? Well, I guess the jokes on me. Yes, we went there. Over the past year or so, I've half joked to Adam that I wanted one. There was a part of me that was drawn to the convenience of it, but I just couldn't swallow the minivan part. Drawn in by the 0% financing last week, Adam went to peruse. Impressed enough to take me to the car lot, we headed over to Toyota last Wednesday night. I was sold in a matter of minutes. Six hours later we drove away, the proud owners of a Sienna.
It's been a week since we purchased our new addition. For the first couple of days every time I saw it in a parking lot, I couldn't help but think "I can't believe I am driving a minivan." But then those automatic doors open and Declan hops in, or we load up from the beach with such ease, or unload our shopping cart from Costco with a ridiculous amount of room to spare, and the stronger thought in my mind is "this thing rocks"! So I'm glad we swallowed our pride and took the plunge! Anything to add convenience to our life nowadays is welcomed!
And just to celebrate our recent purchase, I'm going to go ahead and re-post this, with a new appreciation for this laugh-out-loud video. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mesmerized by Metamorphosis

A couple of months ago Stacie posted a fun activity she did with her girls: observing caterpillars turn into butterflies! With Declan's recent interest in insects I thought this would be right up our alley. So, I purchased our butterfly garden and a few days later a little cup with five caterpillars arrived in our mailbox!
Our new fuzzy friends were a hit right away!
tiny little guys
Over about a week, we watched them grow. During which time we read the Hungry Caterpillar almost every night!
They got really REALLY big. Eric Carle apparently knew what he was talking about. So big in fact that it kind of began to gross me out a little. I was relieved when they made their way to the top of the jar and hung themselves upside down.
It wasn't too long before they started making their cocoons. Adam and I couldn't stop watching and were surprised at how fast it happened. It really was so cool to watch. Here they are in the middle of making their cocoons.
After a few days I transferred the cocoons to the butterfly net and we waited another week for our butterflies.
I was really hoping we would actually get to see one make its way out of the cocoon, but no such luck. A few days ago we woke up and two had hatched!
When we returned home from a play date later that afternoon, two more had made their way out of their cocoons! The last one waited until the following day.
We fed them oranges, gave them flowers, and were mesmerized by their presence...
...and then we set them free.
The whole process was so awesome - I'm sure we'll do it again next Spring!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rockin' the Suburbs

Last week we spent the beginning of the week with my friend  from high school and her family at Carlsbad beach. Erin and her crew were visiting from Park City and their timing couldn't have been better. The beach was absolutely perfect! Declan had fun playing with Reece (5 1/2 years old) and Lainey and Lexi (6 months apart) also had a great time together.
My beach baby
Sand crabs were all the rage!
Declan attempted some bad mitten with Reece after RJ showed him the ropes

More sand crabs!

Lainey shared her ice cream with Lexi - a solid foundation for any friendship ;)
Wave chasers!

 
 We love good beach days with our friends! Nothing beats it.

We headed off to Legoland for a fun-filled day last Thursday with the Jones crew.

We spent a lot of time in Mini Land
Hanging out at the playground
Lexi loved this playhouse
The girls, bonding over shoes
The boys were all about the water guns!
This phone booth cracks me up - every time we pass it the kids want to play in it. Funny, they will never really know what one is.
On Friday we headed to our favorite pool with the Goad and Abbott girls.
Quinn and Lex, hat homeys
I didn't take many pictures that day, but this step was the place to be!
Dec, Lily, Lex, and Quinn
A lame attempt to capture the three littles. Lexi is developing a mad tan. I feel I must disclaim that I do smother her in sunscreen. She just tans fast. Reminds me of someone else I know.

On Saturday we spent a very fun day at Legoland with Ellie, Lola, Stacie, and Tony. It was fun to have the dads at our play date!
The four kiddos, captivated at Mini Land
We spent a lot of time at a playground I usually try to avoid because it is easy to lose the kiddos in it. But with the extra help, it made for a fun change-up.
I snagged this collage off Stacie's blog:
That about sums up our week last week. The four of us headed to the Welk on Sunday, but I purposefully left my camera behind in an attempt to take the day off from pictures :) It was a fun day with the kiddos. The weather was perfect - we swam a lot and played in the splash park. A perfect ending to a fun week!

16/52 {bed head}

I am lagging on my little 52 week project! I have lots of pictures to post - just need to start doing it! This one is from a morning in mid April. As soon as the kids woke up and put them in the car and we headed to Oceanside Harbor to try and get Lexi's 12 month pictures. We left so quick because I wanted to take advantage of the early morning light that I didn't brush Declan's hair. I just happened to snap this picture of him and ended up loving it - bed head and all! It is rare to capture a natural expression from him while looking into the camera!

Monday, May 21, 2012

"Please Excuse our Indecent Exposure"

When we awoke this morning Lexi had a runny nose and puffy eyes. For a split second I thought it could be pink eye, but wrote it off quickly as we packed up for the day. A little while into our beach date this morning, she was crying and rubbing her eyes (not a good combination with sand) and my pink eye suspicions came back full force. A few minutes later Declan walked over rubbing his eye and we decided to quickly pack it up and call it a day. 
I don't know why I chose today to bring every sand toy we own and the two (rather large) beach balls we bought at Target earlier this morning to the beach today. Seriously it looked like my radio flyer wagon threw up a toy aisle all over the sand. In fact, I brought so much stuff neither kid could fit in the wagon. So, I started the long walk back to the car with Lexi crying in the Ergo and a very sandy Declan. He was so sandy that we had to make a pit stop at the showers. Baby powder (if you haven't tried this to get sand off - DO!) wouldn't cut it today. So I stripped him down and tried not to get Lexi wet as I forced him into the high pressure, freezing shower. With both kids screaming and all three of us wet, I didn't have it in me to dig through our bag, find his clothes and put his diaper on. So I threw Lexi's towel on him, gave him some candy to persuade him to walk instead of crying for me to carry him and off we went - the long walk to the car. Me, totally embarrassed and Declan happy as a clam in his naked-candy bliss. As we passed an unloading van of scuba divers, I felt the need to say "please excuse our indecent exposure" as our little WT parade walked past them. We've had some walks of shame before (ie, leaving fast because of a tantrum, running into a store with a shoeless toddler, etc) but this was probably our worst (or best if you ask Declan) yet.
Luckily we were able to squeeze into the doctors this afternoon to get some meds for the little sickies. Since they squeezed us in, we got to wait a whole hour in the exam room. I literally found myself tap dancing in my flip flops to entertain my kids. Don't judge. Anyway, we are quarantined for a few days, but I am actually kind of looking forward to some downtime. I am going to try some pinterest recipes, catch up on some house projects...who am I kidding? I am going to entertain the kids! Lucky for me (and them), I like hanging out with the little rascals! Seriously, our big push the next few days will be bringing the potty training to an end - I have been seriously lagging! Next time we go out into the world, only the youngest Herkert will be wearing diapers. I just ordered the potette off amazon to give me the courage to stick to my previous statement.

Here is a picture from our beach day before it all went downhill!
Lexi thinks she's a big kid now and heads right down to the water with her big brother!
 Lexi, random kid, Declan and Lily.
All in all a good laughable day.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thirteen Months

Lexi, I blinked and this month was over. I can't quite find the words to describe how enjoyable it has been for all of us. All of our worlds have changed dramatically since you began walking. I can't take my eyes off you as you explore the world with that smile that lights up your whole face. I love you with my whole being! Now that you are one, I am reverting to my second year template for your monthly updates. So, here we go!

Favorite Moments: Like I said before, what a month! Every time we go to our usual hang outs it is like going for the first time for me because I get to watch you experience it as a walker. Your excitement (shown with flapping arms and the biggest smile) is so enjoyable for me. Each play date I watched as you advanced. I remember at the Strawberry fields watching you walk down the dirt hill and being so impressed. You just wanted to keep up with the kids. But my favorite play date was when we went to the beach and you cruised around in your sunglasses. You just exuded happiness. It was awesome. Another favorite moment was the first time we took you swimming at the Welk. You didn't stop cooing and making happy sounds the entire time we were there. I was taken back by how happy you were. You are definitely a little water bug! And, my last favorite moment this month was just a couple of days ago. We went to Legoland with the Micah and Kylie and stayed a little longer than we usually do. I put you in your car seat and before I had Declan strapped in your eyes were doing the heavy, slow blink, letting me know that you would be asleep before we hit the freeway. But, Declan was doing something that you thought was pretty funny. You started laughing so hard, but your eyes were still half mast - like you wanted to sleep, but you also wanted to laugh. It was hilarious to watch the dichotomy of this moment. Two of your favorite things: laughing and sleeping working against one another! ah, little girl I don't think it is physically possible for me to love you anymore than I do!

How You've Grown:
  • Walking - You rock at it. You learned so fast - you don't even keep your hands up for balance anymore. In fact, I don't  see you crawl anymore - at all. I remember watching you the night of your birthday party and thinking, "this is it, she is officially walking" and being a tad bit sad that you crawling days were over. You sure to make an adorable walker though!
  • Eating - A couple of weeks ago I handed you a spoon and put the yogurt in front of you, just to see what you would do. Apparently I should have tried this a long time ago, because you started feeding yourself! And, you love it - so much in fact that you really don't let me feed you anymore. It gets kind of messy, but I love your independence!

  • Communication - I'm always hesitant to claim anything this early on. But, you are definitely making an effort in your communication. I've heard you say a clear "no" a few times, and "baye" for bye as you wave. The words I hear most often (besides mama and dada) are "dis", "dat" and "dat ay" (that way) as you point to where you want to go. When we were at Declan's swimming lessons you pointed to the dogs and said "da", but I can't be sure you were actually trying to say dog. You also say "de" and point at Declan. Again, not sure if it is just a coincidence or if you are actually saying his name.
  • Fine Motor Skills - I gave you a crayon and paper this month and you loved it! We are also working on your block building skills. I've seen you stack four, but your average is closer to three at a time.
  •   Teeth - You got your first molar this month (on your bottom left side) with minimal side effects. In fact, it was half way through before I even noticed it!
What You Like:
  • Food - I think the only new food we have given you was corn on the cob, but it was a huge hit!
  • Toys -  Your favorite toy right now is a 12 piece puzzle that you received for your birthday. Every night I spend about twenty minutes with you in your room before bed, and the first thing you grab is the puzzle. I thought this would be a toy we used later on, but you love it now! You also like your play house outside, a toy that pops up little animals when you press buttons, a wooden school bus with little stick people that you put inside (you love any toy that involves placing things in and taking them out), a purse filled with fun items that you take out and  put in, and a magnetic alphabet house on our refrigerator that plays the A,B,C song. You take it off the refrigerator and carry it around. You also spend a lot of time at the train table with your brother.
  • Books - you've aways like them, but your interest in them has definitely increased this last month.
  • Peek-a-Boo, playing chase and wrestling around on the bed or couch are still favorite past times for you.
  • Stuffed Animals - You've recently started walking around with a stuffed bear in the morning and evening. You hold him by his tag and suck your thumb! It is the cutest little habit!
  • You're Chair - G-Mom and Grandpop bought you this chair for your first birthday and you love it! It is so cute to watch Dec and you side by side in your chairs laughing and watching your shows. You also love climbing all over it. In the picture below your new favorite bear is in your hand ;)
  • Trains and Airplanes - You seem to be following in your brother's footsteps with this one! You always point out and are very excited by airplanes and trains!

Just Us

Yesterday we were supposed to take the train downtown and then walk to the Midway Museum with our friends Jen and Logan. Unfortunately they had to cancel at the last minute :(  I was so bummed, and my heart kind of sank at the thought of Declan's disappointment. So I made a quick decision that we would continue on with our plans...just the three of us. I'm so glad we did. It was one of those uniquely special days that I will always remember. We had so much fun together. It made me realize I need to schedule more time to do fun outings with just us. Anyway, onto our day!
We arrived at the train station bright and early! Early enough to allow plenty of time for a little train/people watching. Although Declan wasn't about this at all. He just wanted to get on the train!
 Hurry up Lexi! We have places to go and trains to ride! The youngest member of our little crew was obviously beside herself with excitement!
 Despite the fact that Declan LOVES trains, he was not all smiles. He takes train rides very seriously and I would describe his demeanor of much more a quiet awe. Once in his seat he did not move during the entire hour long ride. He barely spoke - just to tell me when people were getting on and off the train and also to announce the passing of another train.

There were some smiles too ;)
  Lexi on the other hand sat down and immediately started sucking her thumb. I knew her awake time was limited and by the time the train reached its first stop she had fallen asleep on me. Quite frankly the ride down was one of the more relaxing hours I have had in the recent past. I could have easily fallen asleep if I let myself!
We arrived at the downtown train station well rested and ready for our next adventure - the USS Midway! To be honest Declan probably would have been just fine sitting at the train station and watching trains, but Lexi and I wanted to go look at some airplanes!
Lexi was beside herself with excitement!
Once I reassured Declan that we would be returning to the train, he loosened up a bit and began to enjoy the airplanes...especially the ones available to sit in!




Soon we headed up to the flight deck for some fresh air and to check out more jets and "hopters"





All too soon it was time to head back to the train station. But not before a quick stop for some hot dogs to eat while we waited for our train.
The downtown train station was Declan's little slice of heaven: trains whizzing by on one side and the trolley beeping on the other. The kids definition of eye candy!



 Before long, we were back on the train, headed home. A fun day with just us!






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...