Sunday, November 10, 2013

Little slice of paradise.

Last weekend we got back from our fam vacation with all the fam in Newport Beach CA.  It was such a blast.  The kids had so much fun with their cousins as we spent time at the beach, swam at the hotel pool, and went to Disneyland.  The best part was spending time together as a family with the family and meeting our new little niece and cousin Nadia for the first time.  The pic above is Gretch and our view of the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to my bro we had this unreal experience by the ocean! Other highlights from the week were Halloween and meeting Mickey Mouse!!
The first couple of days we settled in and went to Balboa Island and got a frozen banana (a family tradition dating back more than 40 years!) and then we went and played at Newport beach.


The next day we went to Disneyland.  We had so much fun as usual:) Julian loved all the of the rides except for the haunted mansion during which he did not come out from under his hood. Other than that he was a great sport for everything else and was really bummed to get off of the rocket ride, the autotopia, and the tea cups.  Gretchen of course was fine with everything.  Mostly mommy and daddy were ready to conk out after carrying two babies around everywhere:)
And then Julian got to meet Mickey Mouse.  I wasn't sure how he would react to him in person but he and Gretchen seemed to really like him and Julian gave him a big hug!

After the dream that was Disneyland we finally celebrated Halloween which I think may be Julian's favorite holiday:)  Julian was a Ghost and Gretch was a pumpkin.  We did simple and traditional this year because it was easy to make and Julian loves ghosties! We started with an activity in the hotel,
 then went to downtown Huntington,
 and then went and did some serious trick or treating and Halloween partying and snacking with my dear friend Jennifer and her cute family.  Jen and I realized that we had been trick or treating together 20 years earlier. Here we are with our fams. Julian's costume ended up as a toga by the middle of the evening if anyone was wondering how the ghost sheet thing went...

After Halloween we hung out more with the fam went to the beach again, and did some hanging and shopping and then some swimming.  I don't know why but seeing Gretch in her cute little swimsuit, loving every second of playing in the sand at the beach was a treasured moment to me.  She had so much fun as did Julian.  He has asked to go to the beach repeatedly everyday since we have been back.  He also keeps asking for his snends (cousins).
Here are a few more random pics.  This is the first vacation I was not ready to come home from at the end.  Everyone from our fam was there and it was so fun to be together and the whole trip was so awesome! Yummy dinners, great company, and memories for a lifetime! I can't wait to be together again.
On Saturday we finished up the fun with a Birthday party for little cuz Alekos (which sadly I don't have any pics for) and got to see Uncle Noni, who brought cute stuffed animals for the kids.  They cuddled with them all the way home.

Besides all the vacation fun Gretchen is 10 months old now.  I can't believe that she will be one at the end of next month.  I think she has been doing some early celebrating by showing off all of her new tricks.  She has been into clapping for a couple of weeks now and still likes to wave but she added pointing at things of interest today and has been doing it all day.  Also, like all babies she loves to take things out of the drawer, basket, or whatever but today she realized she could put things back in.   She was playing with Julian and all of the sudden went across the room to grab a stuffed alligator and crawled back to Julian's tool box to drop it in.  Then she grabbed all of Julian's tools and other random stuff one by one and put them in the box, and then she took them all out.  She also did the whole I'm pretty much standing by myself thing today and has started to do a new weird spider crawl with one leg out to the side.  It looks like she is about to take a step up then she puts her leg all the way out then brings it in for a solid knee down football pose.  Besides all that I swear she said yay today and continues to say dada, and to click her tongue, all the time.  She is so fun.  And continues to be a good sport in playing with Julian.  Julian continues to love to play with Gretchen and has finally gotten over his fear of the big toilet and I think is pretty much day time potty trained. Yay!  He is so cute to watch as he plays by himself and uses his imagination to do distress and rescue and whatever else with whatever toys he is playing with.  He is also a professional love sac jumper and has been practicing hard at doing bigger and farther jumps everywhere.  He is a kid on a mission! He continues to a big helper and say thank you and sorry all the time.  I also saw him teaching Gretchen the colors on their little piano today. Besides that his vocabulary is expanding and he says the cutest words like snend for friend and generally switches all of f's for s's.  PS, Julian fell through a hole at the play place and fell on this alligator and tree. After he realized he wasn't injured and he got out from being caged inside the off limits part he kept coming proudly back to his special place. Here is by his little friend.

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