Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Erik's Birthday Party

A few weeks ago we attended a Birthday BBQ for our friend Erik. He just turned two. Holly had a blast playing in the back yard with all of the big kids.We think we may have a future soccer player in our midths. She wanted to jump into the middle of the game with the big kids, but they did a really good job of watching out for her while they were playing.She wanted to explore and be in the middle of all the action which is her way. She is such a busy active little girl.The big kids would kick the ball towards the goal and then Holly would run and chase after it.The only problem was the Birthday Boy himself. He was a little precocious just turning two and all, and he didn't like to share. Holly would run after the same ball or toy as him, and he would push her out of the way.She didn't get hurt or anything. So she was ok, but I had to keep an eye on her and keep her away from him.She had a few snacks, and Mommy had some cake and ice Cream which was yummy. Holly is such a strong little tot, she was trying to push the entire cooler, but I just gently redirected her.Here she is taking a break from all her playing. She filled up on her snacks, and was hanging out watching all the action.The little scratch on her head is from running into the side of the "train" at our park.After playing in the grass and running after the other kids, Holly took a break to walk up the stairs and into the house. We changed her, played with a few of the toys, hung out on the porch.
It was such a fun afternoon. We met a lot of different Mom's from our meet-up group and really enjoyed celebrating Erik's birthday with him.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Princess Party

Mirror Mirror on the wall, Fairy tale magic, come one come all. We recently attended a Dress Up party at Araliya's house. It was our very first and we were excited for the opportunity to come as a Fairy Princess.Here is Parker, he is Emi's little boy, just turned three. He was surrounded by all the little princesses, and was there knight.Holly was fast to get herself in trouble and explored the painting station, but once we put the paint away we good to go.Here is our little hostess. She is dressed up as Snow White. She has a wonderful little playroom that she shared with us. In the main house there were Disney tunes playing, and they were in Spanish. I didn't even notice, because the songs are just so well known.Here is our second princess Elizabeth. Isn't she darling. Her and Araliya are both around 18-20 months old.Here is Holly flitting around, like the little fairy that she is. Aren't her wings so adorable. This little dress was so much fun. I was able to find it for just a few dollars on an after Halloween sale, when she was way to little to wear it, hoping it would come in handy one day.It did. Here is my little one who is eating a snack. She is so cautious of new foods, but when she sees other kids eating them, she is very curious and will at least try them once.Holly's all time favorite snack is to devour a book :-) She still nibbles the spines, I hope one day soon she will out grow this phase, but I think that's a long way away still.Here my little fairy is flying! I thought this was the coolest swing ever. It is like Macrame or something. Knit and Crocheted and knotted together with some dowels and a seat, was a cool hand made swing.Later in the afternoon dad came home from work with the dogs, and the girls were fascinated. they were safely in the kitchen, not because they weren't friendly, but the little ones tend to get underfoot, and sometimes a doggy can't help but knock someone over.Holly's Second favorite snack is some wooden blocks. Here she is nibbling those. I think she might have been doing some teething on this particular day, as she tried to chew on just about everything.Here she is making an attempt to escape up the stairs. Isn't Elizabeth so big. When I first met her I thought she was like 3, I couldn't believe she was only a few months older then Holly, who is just so petite.We had a lot of fun, and hope that Alex (Araliya's Mom) will host another party soon.

I Heart Faces - Wedding Bells

Last may Joel Holly and I attended a weeding for our Friend JJ. It was the first big event we took Holly to and she was just about 8 weeks old. We were nervous to bring her, especially to something like a wedding, but ambitious. I carrier her in the Bjorn, and we went to the church. She started to fuss during the ceremony, but was very quiet, and I walked around in the back and was able to stay and watch.

The first picture is from just after the ceremony, while the guests are waiting for the bride and groom to leave the church. There were these cool streamers that everyone was to wave as they exited, so I gave mine to Holly to hold and wave, she was just starting to have a grip and hold things by reflex if you put them in her grasp.

We love this picture even though it is pretty awful. We call her the drunken baby. It gives you an idea of how she felt after sitting through a ceremony.

The next picture is of Joel at the reception. We took turns eating dinner, it was so nice to have a fancy meal. It was also fun to dress holly up so cute in her fancy cloths and bow.

So this is my entrance into Week 26 Theme: Wedding Bells

Just for Fun:

I Heart Faces is a site where you can share photos and submit them into weekly contests, of faces, one for kids and one for adults.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Codornices Park - 8.5/10

This is a wonderful little park nestled in the Berkeley Hills across from the Rose garden. In addition to a wonderful play area there is a creek, and hiking trails, a tunnel that connects to the Rose garden, picnic area and more.This is a Hillside concrete slide, and boy did it look like fun. It was fast, there wasn't a little slope to help you slow down midway. There were these little kids who were sliding down, and I swore they got some air half way when they made the turn, certainly they slide up the side. it was cool. We decided to save it for another trip.This was the Play structure for the big kids, the tall slide is 8 feet tall, there is a sliding pool, and a climbing net too. It looks like a lot of fun.It's always great having Daddy with us at the park. Holly really has a blast pulling him around, or better yet, letting him chase her. She makes a game of it. She had on her little hat but didn't really need it because it was so nice and Shady in the park.Here Holly is climbing up to the slide. She is getting really good at navigating the stairs and platforms. She pauses to play at the various wall fixtures like these cool xylophone tubes.But it doesn't take long for her to trot over to her most favorite activities. The swings, and of course Daddy is happily waiting to push her.
Check out this fun Video of Holly on the swings. She loves the swings.

And of course, everywhere Holly goes she makes new friends. There was this really cool play house shaped like a boat. Holly climbed up into the Boat all on her own to say hello to this little girl. She was about 2.They headed over to the slide together, and climbed up. Holly loves climbing up the slide, and then going down the platform, she just likes to do things backwards.The little girl had an older sister playing with her who looked around 4 and there mom who was sitting on the bench watching them play had a new born around 2 months old in a carrier. The girls were really friendly.The play area was nice because the tot structure was enclosed. The ground was supposed to be wood chips / tree bark, and then there was also a huge sand box. But as one might guess the kids had basically transferred most of the sand out into the playground, so now the ground was a mixture of the sand and bark.Here is our little miss "Cindy Loo" waddling over to play. She is just getting the hang of wearing her shoes in sand. There are so many stages in learning new things, walking, then walking on new surfaces, then walking with shoes, and then wearing shoes on new surfaces. She just recently learned to walk on the bed. She only makes it about 3 steps before tumbling over.I had to include a picture of this tree, it gives you the idea of the character of the park, all old trees and woods. The park is nestled down in a little valley from the road, and you can climb up to several little trails that over look down into the park. There is also a creek in the back near the picnic area.This is an overview from the pathway of the play area. There is also a meadow and basketball court. There is a little bridge that you walk over to get down into the park. When we left we walked up these little "trail" stairs, and Holly walked up them all on her own, well not really, a little help with Mommy's hand.

Slides - 1 - Besides the double slide int he little tot playground, there were several large slides and the hillside slide as well.

Swings - 1 - Yes, and they were lots of fun.

Surface - 1/2 - A mix of Sand and Wood in the playground, grass and concrete in the park.

Shade - 1 - Lots of trees and shade, but also a nice sunny patch in the meadow.

Climbing - 1 - lots of places to climb. The structure as well as the hillside.

Parking - 1/2 - Parking isn't great. Street parking up the hill, but it is on a narrow road and limited, especially for such a busy park, and of course the Rose garden is also right there.

Bathrooms - 1/2 - According to the website there is a bathroom in the park, but I don't remember seeing them, so they aren't near the playground.

Distance - 1 - This only just makes the higher score. its only about 3 miles away, but it is up through the windy roads of the Berkeley hillside, so it takes at least 10 minutes if not more.

Friends - 1 - There were lots of children in the park, and other parents to chat with. The mom of the little girl, ended up having 3 older kids as well, who were playing in the other playground. Imagine a family of 6 Yikes!

Fun - 1- So much fun. Lots to do, lay in the grass, take a walk or hike, see the flowers, play in the side, climb, slide, or swing. We had a blast. We went late in the day, so didn't stay too long, but a lot of time could be spent here, especially with a picnic and snacks.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Chloe - 6/7

Happy Birthday Chloe!
A few weeks ago we headed over to Chloe's house for her 1st birthday party. It was so much fun.It was really cool to have Daddy with us. After months of Monday's at Chloe's it was daddy's first time to see the cool set-up.In attendance was Serena's Mom Kendra and her Dad Randy. Its always fun to get together when all the dads can come.Here is Holly making herself at home in the playroom. Chloe's cousins and all her Friends were there to celebrate with her. In this picture is Gabriel who just returned from a 6 week trip with his mom, and Serena discovering her toes.It was meet to see so many new and familiar faces. Chloe's house is perfect for hosting a party.There is the birthday girl in the most adorable little dress.And here is the fabulous playroom. Since Holly was already familiar with the space she was very comfortable, and didn't mind all the crowds.She was eager to play with her favorite toy and show it off to Daddy. I didn't get any pictures, but the food was wonderful. Eric (Chloe's Dad) was at the grill making yummy burgers and sausages. There was also some delicious trays of traditional Filipino food that Joel really enjoyed. And then lots of fruit and veggies to snack on. Ohh, and I enjoyed the Hansen's Cherry Cream soda. Yum.But she was most excited about the opportunity to run around the whole house and yard. Here she is checking out the pretty flowers.On the patio she snacked on some veggies. She nibbled the carrots which was a first. We watched her like a hawk, running around with them, but she really liked them.Daddy got to chase her around while Mommy chatted and socialised. Berrin was there with Theo, and there were a few other older boys, around 5ish. They were playing ball, and of course Holly did her best to get into the middle of the game.She was having such a fun time. Such a mischievous little grin. When she wasn't exploring the garden, she was trying to climb up the steps. She had a blast. its always fun when there is a Daddy there to chase you down.Here is Serena with her Daddy, I love those adorable little overalls. It was such a nice day out. Cool and breezy, not too hot. Later we had cake, which was very yummy.I think originally Katherine, Chloe's mom was hoping for warmer weather.. We were going to have a pool party, but I think there would hardly have been time for swimming.We loved the new Porch Furniture and Gazebo set up in the back. We want to try and get something like that for our back yard. it was really comfortable.We had a great day. Here we are singing to the birthday girl. i wish the picture wasn't so blurry, but the room was a little dark, and well Holly I think has sensory issues with everyone singing Happy Birthday at once, it makes her anxious and she cries.. So as we started to sing, I had to take her out of the room to calm her down. I felt bad, but I think it wasn't too disruptive.

Everyone had a blast. Here is the birthday girl zonked after such a fun day!