Monday, January 30, 2012

41 and balloon parade

Yesterday was my birthday! To celebrate we did one of my favorite past times - whale watching! The last time we went whale watching Aidan was about 19 months old and it wasn't very successful. This time he enjoyed watching for the whales but spent most of the time hanging out with his dad on the deck upstairs. We got to see a few Fin Whales (which grow to be about 90 feet long), a few humpback whales, and a pod of about 100 rare dolphins. The dolphins were all scarred because they are the type that fight big squid for food. They were bigger than your typical bottle nose dolphin and appeared white because of the scarring. Call me a big nerd because I love whale watching and ocean wildlife but it is true. I got a very special birthday present this year- a new car! It wasn't an expected gift and lets just say the hubby hadn't intended on purchasing one, but my car has been having major problems and it was necessary. I absolutely love, love, love my car. It feels like I am driving a spaceship with the fancy schmancy onboard computer. Thanks Clinto!

Between Christmas and New Years we went to the balloon parade and I forgot to blog about it and post pictures. We drove to a trolley station and then took the trolley into town as an extra treat for Aidan. It was an awesome day!

Mama's birthday- whale watching.
I totally forgot to take pics of the whales. Here is a really bad shot of a couple of the dolphins.
Taking the trolley downtown to watch the parade.
Hanging with dad on the trolley
one of my favorite pics from the day! Watching the parade.
A few of the balloons.

These days Aidan sticks out his tongue anytime you attempt to get a picture of him.

*sigh* look how grown up he looks....
Riding the trolley home.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January Fun

One of my favorite things about living in Southern Ca is that we have the sand, surf, beautiful weather AND the mountains and snow! What a blessing to be able to "have it all". Clinton and I hadn't been to the mountains in several years, so we decided to hop in the car last week and drive up for the day. Amazingly it only took us 2 hours from the time we left our house until we were actually on the slopes! Our plan was to put Aidan in ski school and for Clinton and I to ski. Aidan quickly debunked this idea so Aidan and I played in the snow play area and sledded while Clinton skied. A great time was had by all and after watching the snowboarders and skiers all day Aidan was begging to go to snowboard school! Yay!

We have done several things with the moms group we belong to this month. We have had a couple of play dates, a clothing and toy swap, taken the munchkins hiking, and taken a field trip to the zoo. So this month we have enjoyed the warm weather AND the snow!

Last weekend we drove to Orange County and visited our friends Jacob and Suzanne. They are the ones who moved to West Virginia last summer. It was great seeing them and I think they had a great visit! So much they extended their time here! HA! What can I say about California- once it gets in your blood it is really hard to leave. I think they were sad to go back to West Virginia today. I am selfishly still holding out hope that they move back here. :)

The munchkins on our hike....
Aidan holding Ms. Chiyo's (Karens mom) hand on the hike.
All the munchkins....
After we finished the hike the kiddos found a pile of sticks. They played with them for 30 to 45 minutes and would have played longer if we didn't need to go.
see. they all have sticks in their hands.
Aidan and Karen holding hands getting ready to get on the bus at the zoo.

Today we learned about the polar bears. I LOVE these tours because they are so educational and we have our own guide. I was so happy to see the polar bears awake and playing! 9 times out of 10 when you go there they are sleeping, but they had just had their breakfast and were in a playing mood. See him playing with the ball? The polar bears and gorillas are my favorite to watch!
Story time at the zoo. Gotta love it!
playing after lunch.
yay! Aidan finally got to throw some snow balls. He has been asking to throw snow balls all winter. lol.
View from the top of the hill we sledded down. There was a chair lift that took you to the top but it wasn't running that day so we got our exercise for the day. lol.

view from the bottom of the hill.

Taking a lunch break and wearing daddies goggles.

Play time with dad after lunch.
This is a little boy named Nikita that Aidan met who is from Romania. They played and played and played. I saw Aidan with a handful of snow heading towards Nikita as he was bent down building a snowman. I KNEW what Aidan had in mind and I yelled at him to stop. But it was to late and Aidan put the snow down the back of Nikitas jacket.
Silly boy should have listened to me. Pay backs are no fun.
Aidan and Jacob. You can take the boys out of West Virginia but you can't take the West Virginia out of the boys. lol. Suzanne and I were standing there talking and the next thing we knew both boys had climbed into the back of the pick up truck. Luckily it belonged to Suzanne's friend and she was borrowing it for the weekend.
Mischievous little smiles. :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

my boy is growing up.

It seems like just in the past week Aidan has grown and gotten more mature. I thought I would post a few things he is doing lately so I won't forget....

-He is becoming a big help around the house :) He is doing things like bringing packages inside for me that are left by UPS when my hands are full, gathering his cups from his room, picking up the living room at night, and helping me do laundry.

-He is getting much better and more confident on his bike. It may be time to take the training wheels off soon.

-One of the many things that I love most about Aidan is that he considers others feelings. He doesn't like it when other kids become sad and is always there to help them. He is much more a peacemaker rather than a fighter. He also has a very tender heart and gets his feelings hurt easily.

-Aidan has an outstanding memory! It takes him about 5 minutes to memorize his bible verses for church and he doesn't forget them! EVER! He is always in charge of remembering where we parked the car when we go to an amusement park or the zoo. lol! He kicks my butt in the game Memory! Seriously, he wins 9 out of 10 times. We were playing the other day and I could tell that he was "letting me win". I think it goes back to the above and considering others feelings. lol!

- He is reading at I would estimate ( I haven't tested him) an early 2nd grade level. He blows my mind with the words he is able to read. He will only read when he wants to and won't always read when I ask him. I haven't been pushing this because I don't want him to feel pressure to read and I want him to enjoy it. However, I am worried about this when he starts school. He prefers to read signs and things in his environment rather than reading books.

- Aidan loves for me to read to him. Clinton bought him a set of all the Children's Classics before he was born. I recently started reading these to him at night instead of always reading his other books. We started with Alice in Wonderland and have also read a little of Treasure Island. I think TI was a little much for him because it scared him, so I put it away for later.

-Like every other kid, Aidan gets bumps and bruises throughout the day. His new thing is to tell me "its swallowing" ( it's swelling) when he gets hurt.

- I think he has a pretty high vocabulary for his age and some of the things he says blow me away.

-Aidan is eating much better than he used to. He will actually come to me and say "mom I'm hungry". Music to my ears.

- Aidan is getting stronger. I was helping him with the monkey bars the other day and I could tell a difference in his upper body strength. He wasn't as "loose" in his shoulders.

- Aidan still hates anything to do with coloring or writing. This has been a struggle for us and is another concern I have for when he starts school. He is still going to Occupational Therapy and we are working on his fine motor skills.

-I still can't take Aidan to watch a movie. He has no patience for it and will ask to go home after 45 minutes to an hour. His attention span is not the best unless he is doing something he really enjoys.

-Aidan now pumps his legs on the swings although he much prefers for him mom to push him. :)

-Aidan enjoys reading his bible. :) Some mornings I peek in at him to see if he is awake. Often times he is laying in bed reading his bible.

-I am still on the fence as to whether I am going to send him to transitional Kindergarten ( formerly known as PEPP) or regular Kindergarten next year. In some areas I feel he is more than ready for Kindergarten and other areas I feel he could use the extra year. I will be talking to his preschool teacher and OT about it and getting their opinions. Transitional Kindergarten is half a day while regular Kindergarten is full day. Some days I feel like home schooling him. sigh.

-Aidan makes me smile a hundred times a day. He has such a sweet nature to him and is so funny. He melts my heart and I couldn't be more blessed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

December Catch Up- Christmas performance, Christmas lights, Boat Parade

I am still playing catch up from December. I was happy that Aidan got to participate in two Christmas performances this year- one at church and one at school. I am going to attempt to post the performance at church so those of you who are not on Facebook can see it. So cute! I don't think there is anything much cuter than preschoolers putting on a performance. It just melts my heart Every. Single. Time!

Since we stayed at home this year for the holidays we were able to explore San Diego a little more and find some hidden treasures of the city! There are so many cool things to see during the holidays around here! The Christmas lights displays around the neighborhoods are unlike anything I have ever seen before! There were a couple of nights that we went to a neighborhood that has named themselves "Christmas Card Lane". Unbelievable! You couldn't just drive around and appreciate all the displays so we parked and walked around the neighborhood. There were probably 4 blocks and only 2 or 3 houses that weren't decorated! Every house had a theme and we saw everything from Disney to "remember our soldiers who are away" themes. Each house had these giant boards in their yards displaying their particular theme. It looks like one artist did every display because they are all similar as far as the quality of work. They had high school students selling hot chocolate and cookies as a fund raiser, horse and carriage rides ( we asked about this because we wanted to do it but it turns out someone was throwing a christmas party in the neighborhood and rented it for their guests!), carolers walking around the neighborhood, and some houses even had their own concerts going on! It really felt surreal being there and felt like we should have been in some Charles Dickens novel. lol!

We also learned about a place called "Santa's Village". This is not advertised and it is only through word of mouth. It is a house in one of the wealthier neighborhoods in our community. The people open up their home and let people tour the bottom floor which is decorated .Mr. and Mrs. Claus are there for pictures, there is free hot chocolate, apple cider, and cookies, and every child who comes is given a gift! Apparently this has been going on for several years because there were several hundred to a thousand people there the night we were there! The line to see Santa was about 1 hour to an hour and a half so we opted just to see him from a distance. I got the inside scoop for next year as to when to go so it wouldn't be as crowded. We inquired about leaving a donation but they wouldn't accept any donations and any money they receive goes to charity! I just love the sense of community here and how people are soooo giving! It is such an amazing place to spend the holidays and to feel the spirit of the season! Even in times of economic recession people go out of their way to spread happiness and cheer.

Another family activity we did during December was to go to the Boat Parade. We did this a couple of years ago and went again this year. People get really creative and use their imaginations to decorate their boats.

Aidan and his dad before his Christmas performance at school....
silly boy!
Aidan at school getting ready to perform.
singing with his classmates.
Christmas Card Lane. I took about 75 pictures but wont bore you with them all! lol! Here are just a couple of the houses. This is the horse and buggy that someone rented out for their Christmas party.

Loved the "Little Bear" theme.
This was by far Aidans favorite display! Someone set up a train track in their entire front yard ( there were about 3 houses with train displays but this was the biggest) He could have stayed here for hours and asked to "see the trains" every night until Christmas!
101 Dalmations...
Finding Nemo....
This one was my fav! The Spiderman was very realistic looking! You can't tell from the picture but the lights were the "webs" coming from his fingers.
Boat Parade...

Fun times!
One of my favorite pics from this holiday season!