Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ballet Recital

After months of intense training...
Bethelle on far right and in mirror
And endless hours on the dance floor...
Bethelle was pumped and ready for her recital.
Since the move away from Sammamish, I had been driving and ferrying her to her lessons almost every week so that we could make it to the big show. Practices themselves were an all day event. I am not sorry to see the season over. The key word next year will be "local".
Flash photography was not allowed in the auditorium, so the above is the best you get, day-of.

Here are the happy dancers after the show!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Everywhere but Grandma's

From our latest home, I can walk easily to:

The grocery store
The library
The elementary school
Our church
Swimming lessons
Ballet class
Rigby's pediatric ophthalmologist
A park

And just a little further of a walk takes me to our cute downtown area, with shops, restaurants, farmers' market, waterfront, ferry to Seattle...

I'm about ready to sell the van.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cali Family

A literal stone's throw from our friends, the Storms, live my aunt and uncle. I grew up next door to this family of cousins, so they were second parents to me. Jannah Storm was in my uncle's seminary class as a high school student, so it was a pleasant coincidence when they moved to the same area at nearly the same time. They are now best of friends and it is fun for me to know that to areas of my acquaintance have come full circle as friends.

Clark and Karen threw a great dinner party for us all Sunday afternoon.
As a pleasant surprise, my cousin Jenn showed up with her boyfriend. Jenn and I used to be mistaken for each other as kids, but I don't really see the resemblance so clearly anymore. But that is my hair on her head.
Preston (cousin) and family came too! They had been planning a visit that was to begin the day after we were to leave, but rescheduled a bit so that we could all be together! Thank you, Preston!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Storms and Beaches

After a work-week at Disneyland, we were ready for a vacation! It was so fun, but sooo much work. We headed to see some friends just 20 minutes south of Anaheim, the Storms. It was so great to see them! Thank you, Jannah and Justin (and kids!) for welcoming us.

Jannah recommended T Street Beach to us and we spent a day there. It was perfect, and we were lucky to have our hottest day while in California be the day we had planned to spend on the beach.
Nick's brother, Casey, caught a ride from Phoenix to come see us for the day. The kids almost passed out when they found out he was coming. They love their uncle. Who would be more fun than Casey to build sandcastles with?
Nick let Rigby run out into the ocean as soon as we got there (much to my paranoid chagrin). After experiencing the waves on his own, he would not leave my lap until he put on this life vest.
Nick and Curie spent quite a while like this. Pretty cute. Bonding time.
Like I said... pretty cute.
I want to take a magic marker and draw in a surf board here. But that would ruin my monitor.
After the sandcastle was thrashed, Casey built a chaise lounge in preschool size.
And then we buried Curie. What a sport.
California Dreamin'. This is the life!
We left the beach a bit sunburned and covered in sand, but for Washingtonians, it was all worth it for a day like this.

One More Disneyland Post

Just a few more words and pictures about Disneyland. You may be getting tired of Anaheim posts, but hey, it's my blog.
We spent a lot of time like this. A lot.
On Tom Sawyer's Island.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle. But I don't think I needed to say that.
The whole crew. How cool is it that my brother and new sis-in-law came for a couple days?
This is Grizzly River Run at California Adventure. You can get misted or soaked on this ride. I got soaked.
This "ride" was as important as any other, it seemed. And button pushing had to be negotiated in advance.
Running down the hall to our room at the end was a daily ritual. How do they maintain the energy?
My boyfriend.
Self explanitory.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Curie at Disneyland

When I was a baby, my parents left me with Grandma while they and the two boys went to Disneyland. It had occurred to me that just maybe I could ask the same thing of the parents who had left me. Wouldn't we be able to do more with the bigger kids that way? But the thought didn't last long... what would a family vacation be without such a key member of the family?

Curie was great at Disneyland! And I was very impressed with how great Disneyland is about babies. When I am at Target, Big-Brother-in-a-red-shirt-and-khakis constantly harasses me about child/cart safety. Disneyland, on the other hand, trusts you to take care of your own child. Thank you, Disneyland.

Curie was mesmerized by the music and dolls of It's a Small World. This rides takes the prize for family favorite.
The merry-go-round was another hit. We rode this one a lot, as it was conveniently located next to the biggest, baddest roller coaster I have ever experienced, California Screamin'. This kept the kids happy while we switched off on the coaster.
And here she is on Dumbo. See what I mean about Disney trust? The Target control freaks would never let you put your baby in a flying elephant at their store. OK, that came out wrong, but you know what I mean.
Waiting while the big kids rode Autopia.
I just couldn't pick between the two pictures! I had to post both.
Curie spent a lot of time in the stoller or strapped to us in our Baby Bjorn. She was very patient and happy almost all of the time. Thank you, Curie! What a good girl.
Curie Louise has morphed to Curie Lou, Lu-lu, Lu-Bug, Bug, and now Rigby calls her nothing but Buggie. At California Adventure, there is Bugs Land and this show:
How true.
Curie was such a sweetheart at Disneyland. She loved the music, characters, rides, hotel pool, and having her family around her all day long. She clapped and cooed all day. Her babbling increased a lot on the trip, and she even said a babbled, "dee-dee-ahh" several times, which we thought was so funny at "dis-ney-land". She grew very attached to having Nick around all day and is now a daddy's girl. She has also learned to appreciate time to roam and be free of straps and buckles. Ever since we have been home she is much more content to not be held.

She'll never remember this trip, but we will always remember how great it was to have her with us!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rigby at Disneyland

I wouldn't say that Rigby's Disney experience was as life-altering as Bethelle's, but he had a great time. Being a cars/planes/trains/trucks fanatic, I had thought that Autopia would be the biggest hit for him.
But he says that Astro Orbiter was the best.
In truth, he really preferred the slow, pensive rides, like the train around the park,
the merry-go-round,
and It's a Small World.

I had planned to take Rigby back to the hotel everyday for naps, but Nick wanted him to sleep in the park the first day, just to see if he could do it. Thanks, Nick! I got a lot more park time this way, and Rigby did just fine on a bench
or in the stroller
We tried to get in the 40 inches and above rides while he was out (trading off watching him, or course), but occasionally he had to wait for us while conscious. He was a good sport.
When he saw Bethelle's prized lollypop, he wanted one too. Bethelle may have nursed hers for a week, but Rigby's was gone in a couple hours.
Rigby's greatest possession at Disneyland was this Mickey water bottle. He had that thing with him everywhere, which was great because he stayed hydrated and it only cost me $1 (got it before we left town... not in the park)!
Rigby really lit up when there was music playing and characters dancing. He loved the Disney parade and the little bands with characters around the park.

He was great on the trip. Five days in Disneyland is a lot to take, but Rigby was a star and really enjoyed everything!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bethelle at Disneyland

I wasn't sure how Bethelle would handle the roller coasters, so I talked to her about trying one and seeing how it went and deciding from there... I did not give the girl enough credit. On the day that we checked in to the hotel, we spent the afternoon at the pool. When we got there, Bethelle ran right up the steps to the slide and jumped into it. She didn't slow down for a week.
Her favorite roller coaster was Big Thunder Mountain, which she rode at least five times. She liked all the rides. Even Space Mountain. Below is a picture of us (top right) on Tower of Terror at California Adventure. They try to psych you out as you approach the "tower". When a girl screamed at some of the scary stuff, Bethelle said, "Dad, what was scary?" She was impenetrable. Don't be fooled by her petite frame; that girl is made of steel.
Bethelle measures in at a whopping 40.5 inches. Most height-restricted rides at Disneyland require 40 inches to ride, so she was about as little as a rider could be. What a champ!

Her other favorite ride was It's a Small World. You never get too old for that one.
Merry-go-rounds are always a big hit. This one was Ariel's Under-the-sea Go-round.
Sometimes she does seem old enough for this. It'll be here before I know it.
Blair, Holly, and Charlotte joined us for two half-days at the parks. Bethelle would hold Holly's hand all day and loves to play with Charlotte.
But the real anticipation of Disneyland for Bethelle was meeting the princesses and eating with them at Ariel's restaurant. I will post character pictures later, but here we are, under the sea.
I'll just throw in one character picture. Cinderella is Bethelle's favorite princess (notice the matching dresses). As Cinderella walked away, Bethelle stared at her peacefully, tipped her head to one side, and with a sigh, put her hands over her heart. It was precious.
The food was awesome. After a few days of trying to eat cheap in an expensive theme park, salad, steak, and seafood were wonderful. They had a beautiful appetizer tower and check out our dessert platter! The shell on the left is white chocolate. There were no rules at this meal, and Bethelle chomped at it.
This is what a princess looks like between shooting scenes on the set.
And the all-important lollypop. Bethelle had seen one in a store a month ago. I told her they sold them at Disneyland, and she talked about it everyday thereafter. We bought it for her the first day there and she has licked at it every day since. It is still not gone.
This was the trip of a young lifetime.