Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy 7th Coco

Hey bud, it's me again.
Another year has come and gone.
Last night you went to sleep a 6-year-old.
And today you woke up...7!
Every year I wonder how this could be...how another year could've passed so quickly.
How each day goes by in a blink of an eye.
I really wish I could slow down the clock.
I know these years with you are so precious and life can be so busy...even for a little guy like you.
I think that's why you always see my face from behind the camera and past the flash.
I want to capture everything, for fear that I will someday forget what you were like.
You have this spirit about you that I have never seen before.
You are passionate about life, and let me tell you...
it's not always convenient!
Let's take a little look at who you are today...
There's a lot that is the same since last year, and even years before...
You LOVE trains.
You LOVE Legos.
You LOVE people.
You are still as outgoing as ever.
You still look like your daddy.
You LOVE baseball...more and more as the days go by.
You're still fearful of a lot of things, however...you will go on a carousel now!
(But I don't think we'll be going to Disneyland again any time soon.)
You are a protective big brother and an idolizing little brother.
And your smile lights up a room!
You have learned how to read and you LOVE books...
particularly The Magic Treehouse books.
Your favorites are Revolutionary War on Wednesday and Civil War on Sunday.
You finally sleep through the night...yes, that's a recent event!
But you are up at least an hour every night at bedtime reading by the light of your little lantern.
You often can be found playing Legos or the WII.
Or playing catch with Dad.
Here is a list of fave's when asked a couple days ago...
Sport: Baseball
Team: The Giants
Food: Hot Dogs (with mustard and ketchup...ketchup on everything!)
Dessert: Monster Cookie Ice Cream
Thing To Do at School: Recess
Subject: Recess Reading
Toy: Lego Star Wars
Color: Red
Car: a Chevy!
Shoes to wear: flip flops..."Their names are 'Flip' and 'Flop.'"
Number: 100
Friend: Cale!
When asked what you want to do when you grow up...
"I want to be a train conductor and a Giants baseball player!"
Well sweetie, whatever you want to do when you grow up...
let's not rush it ok!
However you aren't always a picnic!
In fact you have become quite mouthy lately and I see faces like this a lot...
Or no face at all...thank you very much! 
I often have to remind myself that it's your job to test the boundaries and this is the age when you are supposed to be doing this stuff.
But it drives me crazy!!!
And the "Potty Talk!"
If I hear another "butt" comment or "PooPoo" this and that, I think I'm gonna send you to your room for the rest of your life!
You think burping and farting are hilarious.
If I had a quarter for every time...!
(But we won't tell anyone that sometimes Mommy lets loose and we have burping contests lying in bed at bedtime. Why you laugh so hard when I do it is beyond me! And I'm sure there will be a time when you can burp louder than me. Keep working on it. In the confines of your own bedroom!)
*I am a refined woman!*
All that being said, I know that none of that will last forever.
And as big as you're getting, you are still my little boy.
You have so much ahead of you and I am excited for what this year brings and many, many more.

Happy Birthday Coco!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy 4th!

Our Fourth this year started as it usually does with a parade at my in-law's neighborhood park.
By parade, I mean the kind of parade where all the kids decorate their bikes, scooters, etc...and follow behind the local fire truck around the block.
It's so cute to see all the neighbors come out of their houses, waving their flags and saying hi to the kids as they pass by.
Here's our clan...!
(So sad that my hubby had to work the first half of the day and missed all of this...)
There is also a decorating contest...
We cleaned house this year!
Emmy won the trike category! 
Cousin Cale won the bike category. 
...And Libby won best pet!!!
See her stars?!?!
She looked so cute! 
(My SIL, Becki, and I have been taking notes the last couple years and stepped up our decorating game this year. So maybe we're a little competitive.)
Coco was a little bummed that he didn't win anything:( 
And if there was a face painting contest...maybe Dom...?! 
Notice Dom's shirt...the only red item in his wardrobe.
After the parade the neighborhood association puts on a really fun BBQ, complete with games and prizes...for all age groups. 
Emma Kate and Corben participated in the ball toss.
Everyone won prizes. 
Cale and Connor got in on tons of sack races. 
And they won!
(Those two are so cute together!) 
It was a very full morning and our kiddos were pretty worn out. 

So, home we went for rest time.
We spent the afternoon over and Scott and Shawna's.
Sadly I have no pictures with them:(
This may or may not be due to the fact that the drinks were flowing.
And no 4th is complete for the Schwab's without going to see the fireworks!

As busy and fun filled as the day can be, the fireworks show always brings everything together, allowing for some time to sit and be thankful for our freedom.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Best Park...EVER!

Have you ever been to Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos?!
It's a little far for us, but totally worth it for a little excursion to wear out the kids.
Sure, it has your run-of-the-mill-playground with swings and slides...
But it also has a train, a fire truck, and an old airplane for climbing.
Yes, a real airplane! (Not pictured. Sorry.)
As we sat and ate lunch we thought of the possibilities for this park.
It would be perfect for bringing the grandparents and cousins!
There is so much open space for a family baseball game, picnicing, birthday parties... 
And the best part about this park for my family...
The Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad. 
We are always up for a train ride!
And surprisingly...we only rode it once. 
And then there's the carousel!
This is the 3rd time I have visited this carousel and it's always a little nostalgic...
The first time I rode it was when Dominic was about 18 months old.
Emmy was on board right away! 
But my little Coco...
Finally got on!!
My little buddy has such a fearful heart but today he overcame his fear of carousels.
He loved it!
And rode it a few times!
(Clearly he is not as thrilled as he was on the train.) 
Jeff caught a picture of the kiddos and I relaxing on the grass. 
This park even has a creek that runs through it.
There were a few kids playing in the water but
I was a little hesitant...there were tons on geese around this area.
Hmm...maybe not as clean as I would like for my kiddos to be running around in it.
But we did walk the trail between the railroad tracks and the creek.
I love me a father/daughter picture! 
And lastly, a snow cone was necessary before the trip home!

Though we brought a picnic lunch, this park offers a full selection of snacks and lunch items, including barbequed yumminess!
I would say we definitely succeeded in "wearing out the kids"...and Momma!
Even I fell asleep on the way home.
Loved this park so much.
And we WILL be back.
With friends.
Or family.
I don't ever want Summer to end!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Avila Getaway

Since Jeff and I were going to celebrate our 10 year anniversary in June we really wanted to take a trip...alone. We had long envisioned a week's stay revisiting our honeymoon destination: Hawaii.
But as my parents began planning a Summer trip to Alaska, we quickly realized that a whole week for Jeff's parents to have the kids was probably not going to happen.
Meanwhile, Dominic had two camps planned back-to-back and needed to get home from one of the camps a day early...a 5 hour drive one way.
So Jeff and I began our search for an anniversary destination that could coordinate with picking up Dom at the end of our trip.
Finally we decided on a cute little town on the coast down by San Luis Obispo...
Avila Beach.
We had taken the kids to Avila last Summer while visiting Jeff's aunt and uncle, and we all loved it!
And thanks to Jeff's parents we were able to get away for 3 full nights!
With three kids at home, and barely being able to talk for 10 minutes without being interrupted, 3 nights feels like heaven!
The beach at Avila is amazing!
It's shaped like a C and actually faces South, so the sun sets over the hills...which is kinda weird.
But the beach is also really protected so there are no giant waves to contend with, which makes it perfect for the family.
Thanks to TripAdvisor we found a very romantic place to stay: The Avila LaFonda Hotel. 
We loved everything about this place...except the bed.
Aside from the amazing service, they had fresh baked chocolate croissants and coffee every morning (which we grabbed for breakfast on the beach,) nacho bar in the afternoon (which we never made it to,) and a wine reception every evening!
Fresh baked cookies and milk at midnight too!
(OK...one night that happened!)
And if you know me...you know I love myself a good hot bath...
Here is the tub in our room...! 
Can I just say how good it was to reconnect with my hubby?!
Sometimes we wonder with all the craziness of the kids and daily life...
Do we still have it?
And the answer is a resounding...YES!
We talked so much...and yes, a lot of it was about the kids.
But we decided that's ok...we created those kids together!
And we decided we still like each other too.
Good thing!
We enjoyed sunsets and yummy meals. 
One evening we drove to Morro Bay and met Jeff's aunt, uncle, and cousins for dinner.
And the next day we headed to The Dolphin Bay Resort at Pismo Beach for a couple's massage.
(Jeff's first massage ever. And he tried to get out of it. He was glad he didn't!) 
The resort is amazing! The grounds, amenities, and weather felt like Hawaii!!
And because we enjoyed a massage there, we had access to all the amenities for the rest of the day. 
So we soaked in the sun, consumed some beer and wine, and took a dip.
On our way back to Avila we stopped by The Avila Fruit Barn.
So cute!!!
All the fresh fruit, produce, and flowers you could imagine!
Cute gifts.
Fresh baked pies.
Tractor rides.
Farm animals that the kids could pet and feed.
And an ice cream shop.
Perfect for families! 

Yes, there were a couple times that we thought,
"The kids would LOVE this!"
But then as we enjoyed treats like this, we remembered that we didn't have to share! 
On our way across the valley and up to the mountains to pick up Dominic,
we rehashed the last 10 years...
How much we've accomplished.
How much we've "survived."
And how much more in love we are today than the day we married. 
Life has a way of quickly throwing you back into parenting and the daily routine,
but it was so nice to reconnect, enjoy my hubby, and well...
just sleep in!

Monday, July 15, 2013

End of the School Year

OK I know it's the middle of July and I should be updating you on the 4th, how our Summer is going, etc...I am so far behind that I was going to skip all the end of the school year stuff and the first half of our Summer...and then I was going through pictures...and realized too much has happened to skip it!
So this is me...once again...playing catchup!
Dominic just finished his Junior Year.
Let's take a minute to think about what that really means...
Every time I think about that, the tears well up in my eyes.
Here's a look at how he has changed this year...
     August                                      June       
Dominic got Straight A's again with a Cumulative GPA of 4.333.
Can I get a WOOHOO?!?!
This Summer is the first in many years that Dom will not be performing in a Summer musical.
He has a lot planned including Hume Lake, Boys' State, and a mission to Mexico.
Connor, on the other hand, just finished First Grade!
August                                         June 
Connor met a ton of new friends, learned how to read, and LOVES school.
What more could a mom ask for?!

I think I've mentioned it before but I will say it again...
We loved his teacher this year and wish we could take her with us to 2nd Grade! 
Connor and a couple of his closest buddies... 

And our end of the year post would not be complete without a picture with this man... 
He is the grandfather of one of Connor's classmates.
She lives with her Grandpa and he takes her to and from school every day,
so he was definitely part of our daily lives.
He is so sweet to all the kids and they all love him as well...
Every morning Connor and Emma Kate couldn't wait to see him in line!
This Summer Connor can't wait to go on vacation, go to Church Camp, Flag Football Camp,
take swim lessons...
The end of the school year also came with an end of a season for this momma...
after 16 years at the bank, an amazing offer, and much prayer...
I resigned.
It's been 4 weeks since my last day and I still can't believe I am not there anymore.
As much as I knew that it was the right thing to do, it was a really sad time saying good-bye to the customers I have helped for so many years.
On the other hand I don't start my new job till the end of July...so
I am getting to really enjoy a lot of the Summer with the kids.
(I really could do this full time!)