Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Matthew Starts 1st Grade

Can you believe the summer is already over? Check out our little first grader! Matthew was a little nervous, but mostly excited to head back to school today. His teacher, Mrs. Walter, seems really nice. We are hopeful for a great year with her! Welcome back to school buddy! We are so proud of you!

Baby Bruno

Check out the newest addition to our family! Bruno Warren Bonello is here to stay! He is so adorable. We went to visit them at the hospital on Sunday. Amy is just like I was at her age - she LOVES babies! She may have held him as much as I did while we were there. She couldn't get enough. She is going to be a great cousin to him!

We gave him the little panda we bought at the San Diego Zoo. Amy couldn't understand why he wasn't playing with it :)

We love you little Bruno! Welcome to the family!

San Diego 8.27.11

Today is the last day of our vacation. We are so bummed that we have to head home, but it has been such a great trip. We have seen so much of this area, spent time with family and really enjoyed our time together. For the most part, the kids have been really well behaved.

We stayed at the Hyatt in Mission Bay while we were here. It was a really nice hotel. It had a few water slides in the pool area, and we had an incredible view from our room on the 16th floor.

We spent our last morning back in Coronado. It was just too beautiful not to go back. The kids had a ball playing in the water again. Their blonde hair and blue eyes made them fit right in out here. They looked like miniature surfers!

After we packed up our stuff, we headed downtown San Diego to the Gaslamp area for some lunch and then over to Seaport Village for some ice cream. While we were walking around we got a text from Rocco and Meg that the baby was finally here! Bruno Warren Bonello arrived around 3 pm. He weighed 8 lbs 11 oz and was 22 inches long. We can't wait to get home and meet him!

Our flight home was uneventful. We thought the kids would sleep the whole way ... we weren't so lucky ... but they were really good.

Overall, excellent trip! We will miss you San Diego. Until next time ...

San Diego 8.26.11

Day 5 - Coronado!

This town may rival Del Mar as our favorite part of San Diego. We had such a perfect day to spend there, and they have the most amazing beach. It is huge! The kids ran in and out of the waves and played in the sand for hours. I have a feeling we may be coming back here again tomorrow before we leave.

Just a beautiful place.

We met up with one of Arik's friends and her little boy for lunch at this awesome place. I think we may come home hooked on avocado because it comes on top of EVERYTHING out here, and it is so good. When we are on vacation, we always go with the food rule that we follow the crowd. We don't go anywhere we can eat at home, and we generally pick the place that is most crowded. It must be that way for a reason, right? This theory rarely lets us down, and today was no exception. Incredible food and great company.

We met up with Jeanna and the Ferrante's for one last mexican feast for dinner. It was great to see all of them again, and we are forever grateful for the "Paul Show" that kept the kids entertained. I have yet to master the paper roses, but I am working on it ...

We have had the best time in San Diego, and we are sad that our vacation is coming to an end tomorrow. We are anxious to hear about Rocco and Meg and the baby, but we could stay here for a long time!

San Diego 8.25.11

Day 4 - Legoland!

I am so glad that several people told us to go here before we left. Wow! It is like Valleyfair for little kids. Such a fun place! A huge thank you to the Bushaw's for hooking us up with some coupons to get in for significantly less than the asking price.

One of the best parts about the day was that we got to see Jeanna and Doria! We hadn't seen Doria since she got married 5 years ago! We got to catch up with her and Paul, and finally meet their kids, Rocco (4 1/2) and Mario (2 1/2). Such a fun day.

The kids got a chance to test their "driving" skills on a couple of the rides, see a 3-D movie, ride a roller coaster, go on a boat ride, and much more! If you can believe it, we were there for 7 HOURS!

Matthew got to pick out a little lego set before we left. He was super excited.

Since we weren't far from Carlsbad, we headed back there for some awesome mexican food and an evening trip to the beach. We got to witness the most perfect sunset over the water. It was an awesome day. I am sure it comes as no surprise that we topped it all off with a stop in Pacific Beach for some yogurt ...

San Diego 8.24.11

First of all, let us start this post by wishing Arik a very happy 39th birthday! Nothing like a beach crawl to celebrate the big day! Right after breakfast we hopped in the rental car and headed north to Carlsbad. They have a great beach up there. After playing in the surf for a while, we stopped at this great cafe for some brunch. The kids worked up quite an appetite running in and out of the waves over ... and over ... and over ... again. They were hilarious.

After brunch, we headed south to Solana Beach ... or as Amy calls it, "Salami Beach". That one wasn't as impressive for me, but was still fun. Again, the water was freezing, so everyone just played in the surf and dug in the sand.

The next stop on our southern journey was Del Mar. This is, by far, one of our favorite areas in San Diego county. They have this really cute downtown area, and this awesome park that overlooks the beach. We didn't go in the water here, but we had a great time watching the waves roll in from above.

As we continued south, we made our third stop in La Jolla - another great little town. They have a really nice park there too, and this one has a rocky area you can climb around on in the water. The kids got a kick out of this, and even spotted some crabs down in the cracks. While I relaxed and listened to the waves, Arik took the kids over to the sandy beach area for some more running fun.

Our last stop of the night was Pacific Beach - AGAIN. We ate dinner at a different place, but ended the night at our new favorite spot - Yogurtland! Pretty sure this will become a nightly ritual while we are here.

Stay tuned for Legoland on day #4!

San Diego 8.23.11

Day 2 in San Diego! Today ... we are heading to the Zoo! I can't think of a zoo I like better than this one. What an amazing place. We took the sky ride to the far side as soon as we got there, and then worked our way back to the main entrance. We saw polar bears, zebra, elephants, panda bears, tigers, giraffes, and a bunch of different monkeys. The kids got tired quickly, so we had to make an early pit stop for some lunch.

After a little water show and a trip to the kids area to pet and feed some goats ... we were good to go for a while.

To ease the burden on their little legs, we took a bus tour around the zoo for a while. You get to see about 70% of the zoo on this tour, so it was actually a really good use of time.

After about 5 hours at the Zoo, we were ready to call it quits. We picked up a little stuffed panda for Rocco and Meg's baby and headed out.

We went to Pacific Beach for some great pizza, and had our first taste of Yogurtland! Are you kidding? It was like kid (and maybe even adult) heaven. Picture a small shop with one whole wall lined with various flavors of frozen yogurt. The idea is that you pick up a bowl, fill it with the yogurt of your choice, stop at a toppings bar filled with fruit/candy/cereal/sprinkles/etc for added fun, weigh it and eat it! The kids still don't believe that it was yogurt. They both said several times, "This is NOT yogurt Mommy. This is ICE CREAM!"


Day 3 will be equally exciting. Read on!

San Diego 8.22.11

Today is the official start to our first "family" vacation! That's right, we are heading to San Diego WITH the kids. We might be crazy, but everyone is really excited. Our day started off very early. Our flight left at 7:15 am, so we were at the airport around 5:30. We were a little worried the kids would be in meltdown city, but they were so good! I sat in between them on the plane, and they just colored, looked at books, watched movies and ate little snacks all the way there.

Since I was on parent patrol for the entire flight, Arik was on potty patrol. Anytime the kids had to go- he took them. It was an extremely successful team effort!

At the end of the flight we saw the cockpit door open. We were one of the last people off the plane, so we stopped so the kids could look in there. The flight crew was awesome, and invited us in to take a seat. Check out the photo! And yes ... you will see this again in our annual Christmas slideshow ....

Due to the time change, when we got to San Diego, it was only 9 am. We had a whole day ahead of us! We checked into our hotel, took a nap, and headed off to Mission Beach to introduce the kids to the ocean. The water was really cold, but the kids loved it! They just ran into the surf, screamed, and ran back out. They could have done this all day, but we eventually walked away to get some ice cream. That night we had an awesome dinner at this hole-in-the-wall burger place in Ocean Beach called Hodads. It was recommended by one of the valets at the hotel. Great place! By the time we left, there was a line out the door to get in.

Stay tuned for more San Diego fun!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Closed for Cleaning

There is never a dull moment when Matthew is around. His creative mind is always coming up with some kind of plan. With our busy morning routine, there usually isn't much time for playing outside. However, this morning we did have a few extra minutes to spare. This is the scene I came upon as I got up to the driveway to get in my car. Nice. Garage closed for cleaning.

Are you kidding?

He was so proud, and had so many ideas about what to do next. Such a funny kid! Nice work Matthew!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Amy's 4th Birthday Party

Check out the birthday girl! Today we celebrated the big #4 with our family favorites. Grandma Jane, Grandma and Grandpa Hanson, Uncle Aaron, Uncle Rocco and Auntie Meg all made it over for for the party. We had a light dinner and finished up with a tasty ice cream cake. Yum!

It was quite the "pink" day. The house was all decorated in pink, and it seems that almost all of her gifts were pink too! Amy got a couple of really cute outfits for Fall, and absolutely cleaned up in the Barbie department. Holy moly! I am not sure who likes them more - her or Matthew! One of the dolls came with a little wardrobe that opens up into a make-up table. She is in heaven! I don't remember being into Barbie this early in life. She sure is loving it.

It was a really fun day. She has really enjoyed being celebrated this week.

Happy Birthday Amy! We love you so much!

August 2, 2011

Look who is four! Can you believe it? We certainly can't. How did that pink little bundle turn into such a lovely little girl?

She has had quite a day. We started the morning off with a breakfast celebration. Tinkerbell showed up in her oatmeal, and we sang happy birthday with a #4 candle in her toast! It was pretty funny. After she put on her favorite dress, we did a quick gift opening and somehow managed to still get out the door on time.

The cook at Amy's daycare is really sweet. She let Amy pick out whatever she wanted for morning snack. Being the funny kid that she is, she picked melon. Well ... Ms. Suzanne didn't have any melon today, but she did manage to bust out some awesome rice krispy bars with pink sprinkles on them. What a star! I had packed some special napkins, cups and straws for the kids to use. I think she had a really fun day.

Tonight we met up at Fat Lorenzos for dinner. Uncle Aaron was even able to join us. That was really fun. After dinner, we headed back to our place for some chocolate cake and ice cream.

Happy Happy Birthday Amy! Celebration number two is coming up this weekend!

Coffee Date

Every weekend morning we either go out for coffee, or go out for breakfast. Arik and I both like to drink coffee, but neither one of us has any idea how to make it. I know ... we are retarded. We own a really nice coffee pot, a french press ... we have it all. It just doesn't taste good! Perhaps we just like the experience of having someone else make it?

For the past few weekends, we have done a divide and conquer with the kids because Amy has had swimming lessons. I usually take her, and Arik takes Matthew. One of our favorite places to go is Sunstreet Bread off of 46th and Nicollet. I get coffee, she gets a juice box, and the two of us split a "downtowner" a.k.a. the yummiest cinnamon bun EVER!

It is so fun!

Amy is just a happy kid and easy to be around. I always joke that I am terrible at playing with the kids (apparently too focused on all of the tasks that come with parenting!), however, I am really good at coloring! I could color for hours with the kids. My new favorite is using colored pencils instead of crayons!

It has been fun to watch Amy improve her coloring skills. She is getting really good at staying in the lines, and using different colors. The days of scribbling one color all over the page are definitely over.

I love my coffee dates with her! Cheers to fun family memories!

The "Carpet"

Amy and Matthew are known for their "creative thinking" when it comes to playtime - especially with their grandparents! Give these two a few blankets, some pillows, and a plethora of old toys and the sky becomes the limit.

Last time they were at my Mom's house, Amy suggested that they make a "carpet" down the hallway. They did so by overlapping every blanket they could find, and then they added in some pillows and stuffed friends for fun.

They worked on this for quite some time.

A little later, they headed outside to play. Arik and I needed to leave, so I went in to clean up. After I saw what is in the second picture, I just couldn't take it apart. It was so funny. Amy has loved to "fluff" blankets and cover people up since she was a tiny little girl. It brings her such joy. She will fluff and fluff and fluff until the blanket is perfectly placed over whatever person or thing she is covering up.

Check out monkey and his new friends for the day! I laughed so hard I had to take a picture of it. This pretty much sums up every visit to see Grandma Jane! I am sure it takes her hours to undo all of the fun after they are gone!

No air ... in July?

So .. in the midst of one of the hottest Julys on record ... the air conditioning went out at the daycare. They were hopeful to get it working again very quickly, but I got the call around 9 am that Amy had to be picked up. I brought her back to the office with me while I figured out a plan for the rest of the day. She spotted the Panera across the street, and was plotting out her lunch order as we walked into the building. So funny!

She was so good. She colored quietly at my desk for close to an hour. Of course, we had to walk around and say hello to some people Mommy works with before we could really get down to business :)

It wasn't long until I was able to reach Grandma and Grandpa Hanson. Lucky for us, they were home and willing to take on a companion for half of the day!

Needless to say, Amy and I hit Panera for lunch before I took her over there. It actually ended up being a fun couple of unexpected hours I got to spend alone with her. She is truly a delight. Check out her office art work! Amazing what you can come up with when you have a legal pad, some highlighters, and a bunch of different colored pens ...