Wednesday, June 29, 2016


So we took the no balance bike approach to teaching a five year old to ride a two wheeler.  I would not recommend it. It was not easy. Lexi never took to her balance bike. She loved riding her scooter so much she just never had any interest in the balance bike and unfortunately I never pushed it. Big mistake. 

When we gave her her two wheel bike for Christmas I kind of thought she would just hop on it the way Declan did (who rode his balance bike all of the time). The first time I took her out, I knew we had a long road ahead of us. Throughout the winter, we would sporadically head out to the park and practice. Someone even gave me the tip of practicing on the grass and letting her roll down grassy hills to find her balance. We did it all and nothing ever took. I knew it would be an all out push of practicing every day, which would have to wait until summer.

So, the day we came home from Palm Springs I started our mission. The plan was to practice 20 minutes every day in an open flat area. And we did - 10 days in a row. Every day before leaving for the gym, we would throw the bike and the skateboard in the car, drive to the school where there is plenty of open, flat space and get in our practice time before we did anything else.

 I thought I was going to die. Holding her bike seat with one hand, trying to keep it balanced for her as she rode was hard. She was all over the place. I had to play so many mind games with myself to keep my patience. 

Finally, it paid off and it was the sweetest victory! (June 21st to be exact) She worked so hard. I worked so hard. I seriously wanted to cry with relief when she took off. Dramatic, I know. 

video from her very first ride -

We still practice every day. She can easily go on flat ground or when there is a slight down hill, but her balance still is not strong enough to go up slight hills. 

Three days after she learned how to ride her bike, we headed up to Newport with the Jones's to ride around Balboa Island and take the Ferry boat across. She rode about three miles that day! I definitely helped her during the first part, as she learned how to maneuver between people, but eventually she was doing it on her own. I was so proud of her! 

Of course we had to celebrate her hard work with celebratory slurpees!

I'm so happy for her! And proud - she worked so hard for it! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Father's Day Letters by Adam

Almost 2 years since you have been with us and I am trying to remember how life was without you.  Oh…that’s right, it was more relaxing.  How could I forget?  J  You have definitely brought some spunk with you when arrived.  You are a little more rough and tumbler than your older brother and it is fun.  Just yesterday your brother was chasing you down and tackling you and you loved it.  Your mom and I just thought, “This is the beginning.”  I am so thankful you are with us.  You and I have a great bond I hope we never lose.  Each day your growth impresses me.  You are very self-reliant and always in the mix.  You are so full of life, you are keeping your mom and I younger, albeit more tired.   I love you so much and can’t wait to see what you will accomplish next.  

You are such a bright star in my life.  You are right smack in the middle and this suits you perfectly.  You are a bit of a homebody like me and enjoy relaxing and kicking up your feet.  You definitely have a silliness about you which is fun when it comes out.  Watching you change from a toddler in pig tails to a beautiful little girl has been a true blessing to be a part of.  You have a wonderful caring nature about you and you are always looking out for others, and especially your two brothers.  You are old enough to hang with Declan and still young enough you enjoy playing with Nathan.  It is a difficult balance you handle with grace.  I am looking forward to your growth next year in kindergarten.  This will be a big step, but I know you will rock it. 

Hard to believe this is my 7th father’s day.  I remember how excited I was when you came into my life.  Watching you grow to the little boy you are now I am amazed how much you remind me of me.  Just the other day I was commenting to my friend how talking and playing with you is like talking and playing with my 7 year old self.  The same goofiness, quick to smile, and happy go lucky attitude is just how I was.  You have dealt with being the oldest very well and your growth this past year has been tremendous.  I know we expect more of you, and you never disappoint.  I love you very much and am so proud of you.
PS: Only 65 days until the first Charger game.  I can’t wait to watch it with you.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

summer vibes ☼

When we returned home from Palm Springs we pretty much hit the ground running as far as summer activities go! The way I see it, we don't have a minute to lose! Luckily, the weather shifted gears allowing us plenty of beach days with our friends. I'm already digging the summer vibe around here. We just can't get enough!

Califia with the Jones's

Declan and Trevor bonded over excitement over the passing trains

 Oh man, does this bring me back to four years ago

 major focusing issues lately and it's driving me nuts
 boys doing boy things

The San Diego Fair
We hit up the fair in the evening with the Abbott girls and had a GREAT time! You can't beat the wrist band day with unlimited rides. 

 Poor Nate, he wanted to go on everything. He was an inch to short. Luckily we were able to get him on some of the rides with me and even one without me! 

 Declan and Lily went on the BIG swings. Once those things started going, I was actually a little nervous for them. Naturally, they loved them!

 Loving every minute of every ride he could go on!
 This pretty much made his day - riding int eh front seat with Declan. He kept running back to this ride all night.
 focus :(

  Lily and Lexi on the kid swings - a little bit more her speed

he was so frustrated when he couldn't go on a ride :(

 their favorite ride

 We were on our way out and just happened to walk by the pig races just as they were starting. I couldn't believe it - it wasn't even on our radar. It's some kind of unintentional tradition, and I love it. It's always entertaining!

 Dirty fair face
 He thought they were hilarious!

Califia with the Cejas 

 We met up with our good friends who we hadn't seen in way too long for an early morning beach day. I love that we are just beginning summer and have so many more days like this to look forward to!

 these two, absolutely kill me

 good morning world!
Quinn turns 5
I didn't get many pics, but we had a great time celebrating Quinn's fifth birthday! 
 Lexi was trying so hard to win the watermelon eating contest, but just couldn't quite get there!
 Donut fail, so funny! 
We've been very diligent about our summer reading
Mrs. Hansen, Lexi's preschool teacher surprised us one day by leaving her memory book on our door step since we were not there the last day of school. Lexi adores her preschool memory books. She loved going through it and comparing it to her 3 year old memory book.
It's been all about Finding Dori around here!
 No A/C? No problem! 
 Grandpa with the fireworks built us a beautiful built in and came down one day to install it for us. Of course he put htose kids right to work helping him! It was so fun to see him and we are very excited about our new built-in!! 

Tower 14 with the Walker girls
After gymnastics and before swimming lessons and karate we met up with the Walker girls at Tower 14. Tuesdays are our super busy days! But we can always make time for good friends and the beach! Declan and Olivia are in the same grade. It was the first time they met and I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun they had together. What a great afternoon! 

 Here is some slow mo action of wave riding

 Starting out our 2016 seashell collection with a fantastic find! 
 Such a great group!
Soapy Joes
The kids have been going to swimming lessons in the evenings. We usually have a little time to kill between our summer adventures and the beginning of the lessons. Cue in soapy joes. We got the tip from a friend - $15, unlimited car washes. So, we drive through the car wash and then the kids use the vacuum bays and vacuum all the sand out of the car from the beach. An awesome way to kill time. Automated car washes - the best $15 I've spent!

Baby Beach with the Jones's
The Jones's got a kids paddle board so we decided to meet them at baby beach with our kids kayak. Now that is a recipe for a great day! The littles had so much fun splashing in the waves while the bigger kids were busy paddling away. Absolutely perfect!

The Welk with the Abbott Girls
Time for a break from the sand, we spent a relaxing morning at the Welk with the Abbott girls! 

The Lemonade Stand
We've been working hard, earning some summer $$
and drinking the  profits of course!

One of the first days of summer, we had some errands to do and I knew we were going to be in the car a lot. I decided we would use the time to brain storm our summer bucket list. Declan took notes int eh back and when we got home I transferred his notes to our chalk board. The kids had so much fun planning our summer. 

☼ I'm just soaking up every minute of my 7, 5, and almost 2 year olds! ☼

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