Monday, November 28, 2011

The Drive Home

And a few pictures from the drive up.  I had these pictures of the snow in Yreka on my regular camera and couldn't blog them till we got home.  Our boys had never seen snow before so this was very exciting.  As soon as we arrived at our hotel in Yreka, the snow started falling.  The ground was too warm for it to stick, but the boys got to run around and let it fall on them.  

The next morning, we could still see some snow on the top of our car, so we took a picture.  I think you can see it a little bit.  

As we drove through Grants Pass, there was quite a bit of snow.  We really couldn't find a safe place to pull over so the boys could play, so that was a little disappointing, but it was really beautiful.

We hoped there would still be snow on our way back home, but it had all melted when we passed back through.  We drove as far as Red Bluff the first day of our return trip and everyone did well.  The next day, we made a stop in Sacramento.  The boys were really fidgety and wanted out of the car.  Who could blame them?  We needed some fun so we stopped at the train museum.  The boys LOVED it.  

The coolest part was that all of Old Town had been decorated for the holidays, including the museum.  All the trains looked like the Polar express.

Here's Jack yelling, "CHEESE," by a train car he desperately wanted to go inside.  They had decorated the inside of the passenger car for Christmas, including a tree.  Alas, all he could do was look in the window.

The boys with Daddy and a freight car.  

This train car was really cool.  It was a passenger/sleeper car from the 1940's (I think?  The boys were keeping me too busy to listen to the guide).  When we walked through it, it moved and swayed just like we were really moving down the tracks.

I loved the look of this steam locomotive so we asked a tour guide to take a picture of us with it.  I can't believe all four of us were looking the right direction for this one.

Phil took some cool pictures of a mail car 

Our last stop at the museum was the Thomas the train play area.  The museum had four large tables with Thomas the train toys.  The boys couldn't contain themselves.

They played here for quite some time, until we had to break their hearts and continue on the road.  We grabbed a bite to eat, and jumped in the car for the remainder of our trip.

We hit some major traffic on the way home that set us back quite a bit.  We were wondering if we would ever make it home.  As soon as we saw the Kern County sign, we cheered (which I never thought I would). After that many hours in a car, our home felt grand.  When Ryan got into his bed after sharing a bed with Jack for nine days, he just giggled.  We had a wonderful vacation, but it's so good to be home.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Portland Thanksgiving '11

This Thanksgiving, we decided to travel to Portland to visit Doug, Vanessa, and to meet baby Carolina for the first time. Normally, we have flown with our flier miles. This time, due to lack of miles, kids being too old to go on laps, and Thanksgiving prices, we had to drive. We geared up with toys, iPod games, movies on the iPad, and a headrest mount for the iPad. Money well spent. These items have saved our sanity.

We doubted we would make it after Ryan declared, prior to even getting on the freeway, "How much longer?" Jack also said, "I need Aunt Ness" at about the same time. Once again, Pixar and the iPad came to the rescue and the kids settled in.

Phil did the majority of the driving while I tended to the kids and navigated as necessary. I also got a lot of crocheting done for Christmas as seen here....

And here.

We stopped in Eugene on our way up and had lunch with friends, which also gave the boys time to run, which was MUCH needed.

Then it was Portland or bust!

After arriving, we went straight to Doug and Vanessa's and met Carolina. She's a cutie and a sweetheart.

She's so cute in this picture and the girl has a wardrobe to die for.

Doug and Vanessa took us to a really great restaurant called Slappy Cakes (which is where that photo was taken) where you get to make you own pancakes on a griddle at the table. It was super fun, delicious, and the kids were entertained with the process while they waited for their food. Happy kids=happy parents=restaurant that warrants another visit.

The biggest thing for us Californians to get used to was the rain and the lack of outside time. Jack did not have a winter coat that fit so that was the first order of business when we got here. He also needed a hat because of the rain and no hood on the new coat. We found this fabulous shark hat. We also discovered a wonderful indoor play place called Playdate PDX. It is like Bakersfield's The Wild times 10. The boys loved it (Well, Jack was sort of miserable since he was dealing with an ear infection. Poor guy). We also ate at Hopworks Brewery, which has a kids play corner. That is a beautiful thing for kids in a restaurant. I don't know why more places don't do that. They also have terrific food.

Lastly, I'm planning on making the above quilt in a similar color pallette so I stopped by Cool Cottons and had a great time picking fabric. It was a very quaint and cute store with some wonderful fabrics. I could've spent a lot of money there. If you're in the area, it merits a visit.

Today is our last day before the drive home. I feel like we just got here, but I'm also missing home, our friends and family and the much drier climate. I hope our return trip goes as smoothly as our drive up. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


This year, Ryan learned how to hang upside down on the monkey bars. When I asked Ryan what he wanted to be for Halloween, he mentioned his new skill and declared that he should be a bat. He also wanted to know if he had bat wings, would he be able to fly? Sadly, no, but cute thought. I then thought that Jack could be a frog since he loves frogs and hopping everywhere, besides, bats and frogs go together, right? Before I got started on the frog costume, Lorie asked if Jack would want to be Buzz Lightyear and would he like to borrow the costume. I thought that would be great. When Jack first got his costume, it was 100 degrees and he insisted on wearing it. He wore it till he was dripping sweat. I was happy that he liked it thinking that he would be excited to wear it for Halloween. He even told people that he was going to be Buzz for Halloween. When his daycare provider asked me to bring Jack's costume last Friday for pictures, I thought, "No problem. He'll be excited about this." Wrong! He would not wear it.

So yesterday, after talking about dressing up like Buzz all weekend, I got him into his costume and we made a special trip to daycare to take our pictures.

We also stopped by Lorie's to say hi where we were joined by Darth Vader. (Yoda was grumpy and did not join in.) My bat was also grumpy and looks angry in these pictures.

Here are a few more pictures from daycare.

While Jack is the oldest child in daycare, he is by far the biggest. This picture cracks me up, especially his feet.

The boys loved trick or treating last night. They were both worn out from walking the neighborhood, but loved the whole experience. Happy Halloween from the Ogdens!