San Diego adventure

Today turned out to be a surprisingly fun day. Last night we headed down to San Diego to meet up with Nathan as he’s staying there all week for a client down there.


So we woke up in the hotel, got Dad off to work, tidied up the room, and left for our day’s adventure. I had wanted to surprise the kids and take them to the Children’s Museum, but found out it was closed on Wednesdays. Bummer for bad timing. Also, the plan to swim in the pool’s hotel was scrapped when I realized I had packed only W’s swimsuit and not E’s. Needless to say, E was devastated, since that’s what we had planned, so we needed to find something “just as fun” to make up for it.

So, we hunted for this little, well-reviewed bagel shop for breakfast, and after a few U-turns [Side note: Boy, do I miss my Droid incredible and its turn-by-turn navigation system. That’s one of the only things I miss from when I switched to an iPhone. I swear, I’m not fast enough to memorize a map nor do I have the capabilities to sit and watch my map to see when I have to turn and which way, etc. while I’m driving. So I tend to have a lot of wrong-way turns and exclamations of “Dangit!” or “That was the left I needed…” while driving in unfamiliar territories…] we finally made it to the bagel shop, which ended up being worth the crazy trip. I had a bagel with cream cheese and the boys had croissant breakfast sandwiches with an apple each. Yummy!

After that fun adventure, the kids kept asking what we were doing next when we happened to drive by a cool-looking park. Ding ding ding! We turned in, got out, and headed up to play. It was a really fun park, full of new equipment and seven or eight freshly-delivered mountains of new sand. Yeah, that was going to be everywhere. But at least the kiddos enjoyed it, and the weather was perfect so we had fun.

Once the kids got semi-tuckered out, we left the park. Of course, only after changing W’s massive poop explosion, complete with a new pair of pants. Yeah, that bad. And yeah, we’re working on potty training so I don’t have to worry about those anymore, but we’re still in-progress…

Anyways, I decided to head south a little more to Old Town San Diego and see what kind of fun we could find, and while driving around, I saw a sign for the Mormon Battalion visitor’s center, run by the church. I had wanted to check it out, but wasn’t planning on it this trip. I was excited that we just sort of happened upon it, so we decided to go visit.



The presentation was really fun, and it’s just a well-done production that tells about the history of the Mormon Battalion while keeping everything entertaining, especially for the kids.



I was duly interested, however, since the hubby and I had gone through the “Mormon Battalion call for volunteers” during our Trek experience in April, so I wanted to learn more about it and felt a little connection to that.

The boys were excited to pan for gold,


work the well,



make and build with bricks,



and wash some clothes the old-fashioned way.


They also enjoyed the view from the top of the tower.





But I think they enjoyed sitting in these rocking chairs the best! :)




Later, we walked down the street to the main Old Town thoroughfare and saw our fair share of maracas, cowboy hats, Mexican wrestling masks, and other silly souvenir-type stuff. Or at least I did. The boys could have stuck around all day perusing the “treasures”. By this time, however, we were all hungry so we stopped at a place called Fred’s for lunch. The food was good, and I was glad to sit in some shade for a little while.


W enjoyed practicing his photography skills:



Then we went over to a cute state park area that had a bunch of buildings facing a nice open area where the kids climbed around and used up some of their great energy stores. :)



After that, we were tired and wanted to head back home. So we walked back to our car, and discovered it was time to change poop explosion number two! Two pairs of pants in one day! Craziness. Thankfully we were heading back home and didn’t have anywhere else to go for the day.

The boys loved the trip and I’m hoping we can do it again, with the hubby joining us for the fun family day next time. :)


Our summer schedule

Since this is our first *official* summer vacation with the boys, I figured we’d better make good use of it while we can. You see, I’m not really a good ‘schedule’ type of person. Don’t get me wrong, I like having a schedule and knowing when to expect things, but I just have not been that good at keeping to one. I start to feel trapped, like I won’t be able to do something if it’s not ‘on the schedule’. Or that I’d just end up feeling disappointed in myself because I couldn’t keep to it perfectly. Crazy, I know, but that’s how my brain works. It was easier for me to just do stuff when we could and if I had a long to-do list for the day, things mostly sometimes sporadically got done and I still felt free from having to conform to a rigid plan. Of course, I ended up feeling depressed most of the time because I never had time during the day when I felt it was ‘okay’ to just sit and do nothing. I always always always would be thinking of the things that I had to get done and felt guilty when I had to spend time playing with my kids instead of getting to that pile of laundry or something equally minute.

How silly of me.

This summer, I knew that in dealing with my oldest, having a set schedule would make life IMMENSELY easier for all of us. Because he is the kind of kid that needs structure, routine, and craves being able to plan his day based on what’s next on the schedule. So, for his sake (or at least, that’s what I started out telling myself), I adopted a plan that would allow us to get things done around the house, but then also have ample free time for having fun.

And I tell you what, the first two days have been brilliant! :)

Now, I know it’s only been two days, and you’re thinking, “Of course it’s been brilliant, it’s two days worth of having a schedule, nothing hard could have come up yet to challenge it.” Or at least, that’s what I’m hearing inside my own head. But it’s been surprising to see how flexible our little routine has been so far. And it just seems to be working. In just these first couple of days, I’ve watched my kids participate in daily chores with excitement because they know that once they’re finished with their jobs, they’ll be able to have free time and do whatever they want.

And the funny thing is, I’m feeling the same way. I’ve made myself a list of daily chores that I complete right along with my kids, and once I’m done, I feel completely free and able to do whatever I want. Without guilt! It’s actually pretty cool and it’s helping me feel good about our days so far.

I got the idea for this specific type of schedule from Vanessa Christenson in this post. I knew, as soon as I read that, that it would work for us.

And two days in, we’re still going strong. ;)

I’ll have to make sure to update as the summer goes on. We’ve already made a few small changes to the schedule, to fit our needs better, and I’m sure we’ll do that more throughout the summer too. I’ll let you know!

Oh, and I also wanted to mention that we’re doing a little Family Summer Reading Program that I got from here. It’s been so fun to see E and W both get so excited about reading and earning their Bingo squares! Definitely check it out if you’d like to see more reading and less screen-watching in your house this summer!

Bowling for compliments!

Just kidding, we went with the regular, old kind. The bowling alley close to us has a free kids program for the summer, where kids bowl free and you just pay for shoe rental. It’s a great program and we’ve loved using it so far.

Today was a fun time with my boys, and a great way to get out of the house so that the daily chores we had just finished would stay *relatively* intact.





What a ham! :)




We’re excited to continue using our free bowling passes this summer! We sure are glad for fun things to do when there’s no school to keep those kids busy! ::wink::


W selling lemonade

Careful, though, it can get expensive! ;)