Thursday, July 30, 2009

San Francisco

Last Saturday our family took a day trip to San Francisco. We began the day with a picnic lunch on this nice little beach area we found right across from Ghirardelli Square. The weather was sunny, breezy, and perfect.

Ashlee loved the beach. She was begging us to go swimming, but we thought we'd save that for another day. There was too much we wanted to see and do. The boys had fun playing tag and knocking each other over in the sand.

I loved these ships in the harbor.

We made a stop by Boudin's Bread Company, home of the original "San Francisco Sourdough." You could smell the bread baking from a block away, and it smelled wonderful. I could've stayed there all day and just smelled the bread. Instead, we went inside and bought a loaf. They have a place on the sidewalk where you can stand and watch the bakers, and ask them questions on a little microphone that protrudes throught the glass. They get really creative forming the dough into different animal shapes. See these cute little teddy bears? This guy attracted quite a crowd.

The history of Boudin's sourdough bread is printed on the exterior window of the building. I have made sourdough bread from a starter before, and it was a lot of fun, but it didn't turn out nearly as good. I think it's fascinating that they have been using and replenishing the same "mother sponge" (i.e starter) for over 150 years!

Afterwards we headed over to Pier 39, my favorite place on the embarcadero. They had a Farmer's Market going on with lots of yummy-looking fresh produce.

Ashlee was the only one brave enough to do the bungee cord jumping on the trampoline.

I bought a bag of Mrs. Fields cookies while she was waiting in line, and told her I'd only give her one if she did a flip. It worked!

We of course had to go see the stinky, barking sea lions. It was very cold and windy out on this part of the pier, so we bought the kids some hot chocolate from an outdoor cafe stand.

Carousel ride- our whole family was able to ride together.

Ashlee being sassy.

We were on the upper level of the carousel, which made me a little nervous being so close to the edge.

I think this was my favorite sight of the day- Alcatraz in the fog. What added to the effect was the foghorn of a ship pulling in. This is what I love about San Francisco- the breeze, the fog, and the ships.

The streets were crawling with these crazy guys who paint themselves gold and silver, put little kazoos in their mouths, and go to town with thier boom boxes. What a way to make a living.

We looked down and some homeless-looking guy was making these balloons for the kids. We felt obligated to give him a buck.

Time for dinner. We went to Cioppino's, a seafood restaurant right on the Embarcadero. Here I am gearing up for my Dungeness crab.

The kids were more interested in playing with my food than eating their dinner. Ashlee ended up taking home one of the claws. I must say, this crab was deeeelicious. I had to have Forrest crack it for me, though, and get the meat out. Much too tedious of a job for me to take on being as hungry as I was. Forrest got the clam chowder in a bread bowl.

We ended the night with a trip to one of my other favorite spots in San Francisco- Ghirardelli Square. Originally we had planned on getting sundaes and eating them on the beach before we went home, but it was 9:30 by the time we got out of the restaurant and it was FREEZING! So we bought some chocolate bars and ate them in the car instead.

It looks so neat lit up at night.

Good bye, San Francisco. We hope to see you again soon!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's Not Working

Who was I to think I was above morning sickness? Pishaw. All I can say is... this stinks. This is a mean trick to play on an already exasperated mother of four. I did make some iced peppermint tea this morning, and that helped for about an hour, but then my oatmeal had me rushing to the bathroom. The hardest part about morning (noon and night, I might add) sickness is that there is NO RELIEF! At least with the flu, you can get sick then feel better afterwards, but it is not so with pregnancy. I remeber the 8th week being the hardest with Noah, so things may have to get worse before they get better. In the mean time, would someone mind coming over and tackling these piles of toys and laundry at the top of my stairs? I just don't have the energy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

One Down, One To Go

One of my goals this summer was to get both of my boys (ages 3 and 5) swimming. Seeing that I'll be beached with a new baby next summer (and have been for the past 5 years, which is why the boys are not swimming yet,) I figure now is my window of opportunity. Ashlee set a high standard by learning to swim across the pool above and under water at age 3, and the boys are (um, constantly) reminded of this (by me.) Today we had success. Jacob is swimming... under water! I am very proud of him. We spent the afternoon at the El Dorado Hills Community pool. First I would lead him around in the water holding on to my hands, then by a finger, until finally he let go and did it himself. He can also float underwater for a very long time. Noah took the first step by sticking his face underwater, and he likes to float around in his life jacket, so he's not far off either. Kaitlyn got dunked a few times, too. Can't say she liked it very much, but I am acclimating her nonetheless. Now, next summer I'll be able to relax on the beach (or poolside) with the baby and not have to worry as much about the other ones. When we were leaving the pool Jacob said, "You're, like, the nicest mom. I knew you could teach me to swim." We then headed to the store to get the promised "treat." Hey, I never said I was above bribery.


Eggs... I love them. Scrambled, fried, topped with ketchup. I have eaten eggs every morning for the past two weeks. My body seems to be craving them. When I do eat them, my nausea goes away. I figure my body must need the protein and vitamins. An often prescribed remedy for morning sickness is a high dosage of vitamins B6 and B12, which are found naturally in eggs. Maybe that's why they seem to help.

I am half way through my first trimester, but still taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sneak Preview

I would like to share with friends and family my sister's upcoming Etsy store. I am so excited for her. She hand-creates adorable hair accesories for little girls, and they are to-die-for cute. Her products are still a work in progress and as such are not available for sale yet, but will be SOON. I know that once she launches, they will sell like crazy. Click here for a sample of her cute creations, and stay tuned for an official launch date! Be the first to grab them up! I know they'll be in my girls' hair. Good luck, Roxanne!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Plan B

Well, despite my best intentions I have been experiencing a bit of nausea. I think my hormones became stronger than my will power this past week. But that's okay, I have a plan B. Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea, and ginger ale has gotten me through the first trimester of my last 4 pregnancies. I drank two bottles of it yesterday after church, and I didn't feel sick for the rest of the day. I am telling you, this stuff is a God-send.

I also discovered Preggie Pops during my last pregnancy. They come in a variety of yummy flavors, and they do offer temporary relief. I plan on heading down to Babies R Us this week and picking myself up a bag.

If all else fails, I have time on my side. I know my nausea will pass after the first trimester, and it will be all bells and whistles after that. There is much to be excited about along the way. I just learned that my baby is developing arms and legs this week! How exciting is that!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mind Over Matter

I have a theory pertaining to morning sickness. You feel nauseous, so you eat, then you feel nauseous because of what you ate, so you don't eat it again, which forces you to eat a new food the next time you are nauseous... so the cycle goes. I have decided that this is Mother Nature's way of encouraging us to eat a variety of foods to ensure that our bodies are getting the necessary vitamins and nutrients required to maintain a healthy pregnancy and to grow a baby. Makes perfect sense to me, but it causes undue suffering nonetheless. So, this time around I have struck a deal with Mother Nature. As part of the deal, I have devised this mantra:

"I will feed my body what it needs, I don't need to feel sick."

Whenever I feel a wave of nausea coming on, I repeat the mantra in my head, then I eat. And do you know what? It is working. I will be 7 weeks on Monday, and no nausea yet.

I am a firm believer in the power of the mind, and I truly believe that the body is susceptible to the thoughts of the mind. If my mind can get me through labor without any drugs or interventions, why not the first trimester?

Besides, it has to work. I've decided that with 4 kids to keep up with I am way too busy to slow down for morning sickness this time around.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God Bless the USA

This has always been one of my favorite patriotic songs. We are having a good 4th-the morning started off with a pancake breakfast and bike parade with our friends from church. Afterwards we met up with Daddy at work and had lunch and frozen yogurt together (not to mention the bonus ride on the scissor lift... eeek!) Then we came home and set up the pool and sprinkler in the front yard for the kiddies to play in. Now Kaitlyn is catching a little snooze before we go out again for a BBQ and fireworks, and I am getting ready to make my first strawberry and blueberry flag cake. Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Plain and Precious Truths

With the exception of a few choice pieces, I don't typically save most of what my children produce in the way of art work, school work, church reproducibles and so forth. However, today as I was cleaning out my Sunday bag, I came across this:

Let's just say that it was the message I needed. Not only did I not throw it away, I taped it up on my pantry. I can't tell you how many times I have been brought to a remembrance or humbled by the plain and precious truths we teach our children, or rather by what they teach us. I was reminded of this scripture:

"...little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned." -Alma 32:23

Life seems to get more complicated as we get older (or perhaps it is we that complicate it) but I really believe the path is quite simple, we just need to be reminded.