Summer Moments

Kaili is finally getting comfortable in the pool. Between swimming with her friends and swim lessons, I am hoping she becomes a very strong swimmer.

We had a nice visit with friends and it took the sun going down to finally get everyone out of the pool.

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The weather has been spectacular, making it very difficult to stay inside.

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I made an Indian feast for family using this recipe as my always go to for Chicken Tikka Masala. I made some Dal and Raita and bought Trader Joe’s frozen Naan and Samosa’s. We were all happily stuffed at the end of the night.

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I also made Chrissy Teigen’s Pineapple Grilled Shortribs and you guys, they were Ahhhhmazing. I will describe them as candied meat or a very tender and sweet beef jerky.

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Kaili has her last swim class, it’s bittersweet. She really loves it and asked me if she could have a playdate with her instructor. Every day she gets a little bit braver.

Little Getaways

Kaili had this week off of school for Spring break and instead of us sitting around the house we joined Shane for a week in Oxnard, Ca.

We left Sunday early in the day and made a pit stop in Irvine for a visit with family before making our way up to Malibu. The drive along the coast up there is just breathtaking. We stopped at Paradise Cove for lunch. With tables in the sand and amazing views, you really do feel like you’ve reached Paradise.

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We easily devoured a bottle of Cakebread 2012 Merlot for a very reasonable price considering where we were. It’s hard to beat sitting on the beach with a good drink while the kids are entertaining themselves in mother natures playground. The food was underwhelming, which seems to be a reoccurring theme for us lately but the atmosphere made up for it.

dThe last leg of the drive was an easy one and we got to the hotel by check in time. Our room that was supposed to be ready, wasn’t, and being a Hilton Honors member we got upgraded to an ocean view suite. Still full from lunch we decided to skip dinner and just go with happy hour beverages. We watched the sun set on the balcony before tucking in for the night.

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Shane still had to work so the girls and I were on our own for most of the days.  We played at the beach in the mornings and then spent the afternoons at the pool.

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One day I brought my book down thinking I might be able to read a chapter and then I laughed and laughed and laughed at myself.

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We would meet Shane at happy hour in the evenings and then head into town for dinner. We had some very good steamed mussels at la Petit Cafe in the harbor, after we managed to make it back to the hotel bar to catch most of the USMNT soccer match. The girls ate ice cream on the floor, we had some wine, it was perfect.

We also found a good Mexican spot in Oxnard called Cabo Seafood grill and Cantina and everyone was happy with their meal, a rarity these days.

Thursday morning we took one last dip in the hot tub before packing up for the drive home.

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The hotel service wasn’t as good as it should be for a pricey resort but overall the stay was very nice. One of my favorite things is being able to hear the waves crashing from the couch as the ocean breeze blows through the room.

Kaili was complaining of an earache on the drive home and Averi was super tired and cranky. Turns out K had swimmers ear but luckily we caught it fast and she’s good as new now.

Little getaways like these are just what the doctor ordered.

Lake Arrowhead

We spent Memorial day weekend up in the mountains. We left Friday morning and arrived less than three hours later. We rented a place next-door to the village and a grocery store, the best location if you want to avoid the car. It was a 2 bedroom condo I found through VRBO. The girls shared a room and although I had to tweek the room a bit, it worked great. I pushed two twin beds together for Kaili and threw the pack n play in another corner for Averi. We had a bedroom next door and the living area just out front. Our balcony over looked a very cold pool and luke warm hot tub.  I must confess I was worried about the girls sharing a room because A. Averi has been waking all times a night and cries until I come in and B. Kaili falls out of her bed and hollers, or gets up and comes into our room. Turns out, I over reacted because they both slept through the night both nights. Averi woke up the third morning at 5:30 but Kaili slept through her hollering. the only downside with room sharing is once one of them is up, you really can’t put them back down since there isn’t the option of “cry it out.” Doable but not desirable.

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The Village
The Village

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The weather less than desirable, the crowds scarce.  We  got there around lunch time and walked the village, scoping out the must-do’s. We had lunch at the very popular mexican place, Papagayos and although underwhelmed by the food, the atmosphere and people made up for it. They had a large out door patio that featured a bar and grill for margaritas and tacos that locals and tourists gather on warmer days, we will get to know this place well.

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After our big lunch we decided to go back to the condo, put the kids down and enjoy a small dinner of wine and caprese. After a good nights sleep we would devour the town in the morning.

We started the day with breakfast at the Belgium Waffle Co. which was a recommendation from a local. After an indulgent meal we fed the ducks, walked the village and watched Kaili go on kiddie rides at their local “amusement park. Then we got in the car and hit up all the open houses and boy did we find some gems.

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After house hunting and a little shopping, we ended back  at the village on a patio semi shivering due to the cold weather as we sipped margartias. Sitting next to us was a group that were Arrowhead vacation owners. We got to chatting and luckily the weather lifted and the day unfolded nicely. We learned a little more about the place and which parts of the lake was the most desirable yada yada yada. The day ended a lot like the day before with a quick swim in the warm tub and a light dinner of caprese.

Sunday, I made breakfast at the condo and then we went back to some house hunting. We also made our way to a “festival” at the next town over and although it was a very sparse “festival” it lead us to the best pizza place. Another gem told to us by a local, this place will one day be featured on Food Network, I’m sure of it. We devoured an amazing pizza and some beers while Kaili ran around with a little friend she met. Everything about this place was awesome, my only regret was there weren’t more of us so we could have tried two types of pizza. Two thumbs up for Lou Eddies Pizza.

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That afternoon we went back to the patio at the village but now that the sun was out it was packed. I lucked out and got a table but soon after Averi managed to dump my entire beer all over us. We paid the tab and went back to the condo for a replay of hot tub and dinner. We were all in bed early and ready to head home the next day.

Our drive home was fun. Halfway down the mountain Kaili said she had to go potty, we told her we were on our way but then she got quiet, too quiet. She got sick, so much sickness out of a tiny human being and I had nothing but clorox wipes. We were able to change her out of her clothes and I cleaned up as much as I could but the 2 hour drive was smelly.

We are heading back again in another month or so. Looking forward to checking out more of the surroundings and maybe partaking in some water activities. Hopefully the weather will be in our favor.

Glow Stick Fun

A few years ago, right before I was put on bed rest I worked a Parents Night Out at my school. I had given the kiddos glow sticks to play with and they had a blast when we turned out the lights. Being able to run around a classroom at night, in the dark, proved to be a hit. At the end of the night one of the parents mentioned to me how they will put a bunch of  glow sticks in the bath tub and let their daughter take a ” glow in the dark” bath.

I was recently reminded of this fun activity thanks to Pinterest and then I saw some glow sticks at Target in the $1 section.

Kaili has been less than impressed with bath time lately so I thought I would give it a try. Only drawback is A. now with the time change, it’s still sunny at 6:00 p.m and B. we have a skylight in our bathroom so it wasn’t very dark but she didn’t mind. She had a blast. I was impressed that she didn’t try to chew on them, she had more fun using them as drumsticks. Her bath lasted almost 30 minutes, that is about 25 minutes longer than normal.

After her bath they still proved to be a hit. She stayed up a little later than normal and that is just fine with me.

Trying them out in the dark